The alleys of Doha's Souq Waqif are abuzz with the World Cup fans and tourists flocking to the restaurants. The most important tourist and heritage attraction in Qatar, Souq Waqif has eateries serving traditional Arab cuisines as well as dishes from across the world.
Many are drawn by the aroma of Arabic and Turkish coffees while some come to try Arabic meals and dishes. “Souq, indeed, is a melting pot of cultures and it's a place that reflects the vibe of the World Cup. We came here to embrace the local culture and enjoy the traditional culinary richness,” said Daniel Harvey, a US fan, who visited the Souq along with his friends and enjoyed Arabic coffee and Shisha at a restaurant.
Karak tea is on the top of the sought after list. The eateries at Souq Waqif also serve the traditional sweets Baklava, Maamoul, Shaabiyat, Namoura, Arab ice cream, Kunafa and Barazek.
Restaurant owners said they focus on the Gulf and Arab dishes with most of the tourists going for them. “We get many takers for Machboos, Khubs regag, Thareed and Madrouba. Various options are available for tourists as per their demands and tastes,” a restaurant owner said.
The eateries that serve Yemeni meals including Mandy, Tess, Salta and Fahsa and some desserts, such as maasob and arika also receive many food lovers. Fans also flock to the kebab restaurants which offer varieties of Afghani and Irani kebabs. “We have multiple options which are pocket-friendly. And we record a good flow of customers after the World Cup started,” said another restaurant owner.
"We tried Mandy at one of the restaurants and it was yummy. The lamb is well cooked and tasty,” said Senegal fan Sara John.
In order to woo the fans, the restaurants in Souq Waqif have also installed big screen TVs to show the World Cup matches.