DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The winding cobbled alleys of Souq Waqif create a labyrinthine bazaar stuffed with dozens of small stores hawking spices and perfumes, scented oils, silk scarves, shimmering crystal chandeliers and glittering jewelry.
The Qatari capital’s oldest souq also features shisha lounges, antique stores, art galleries, restaurants and a stop where shoppers can have a falcon — the national bird of this small Arab country jutting out into the Persian Gulf — sit on their arm.
Qatar was once a dust-blown pearling port transformed into an ultra-modern hub following its 1990s natural gas boom, when expatriates, Western consultants and engineers, and low-paid South Asian construction workers and cleaners poured into the country.
People play cricket in the streets in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.
Take a casual stroll down the Doha Corniche, a seven-kilometer (more than four-mile) crescent walkway around Doha Bay that stretches from the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel at the northern end to the Museum of Islamic Art at the south. In between are restaurants, clubs, parks and cultural attractions along the promenade overlooking the waterfront.
Don’t have World Cup match tickets? Big screens have been erected and soccer fans can often be found crowded around the televisions catching a game.
People play cricket in the streets in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. As dawn broke Friday as Qatar hosts the World Cup, the laborers who built this energy-rich country’s stadiums, roads and rail filled empty stretches of asphalt and sandlots to play cricket. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
A former pearl diver Saad Ismail talks to a client in his pearl shop in Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Beachgoers enjoy the day in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
Brazil’s soccer team fans jump for a photo along the Doha corniche in Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)