The corridors of Souq Waqif are coming “alive” again, after having been “deserted” for a number of months on account of government measures to control the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Eid al-Adha season is bringing cheer to the merchants here, with residents starting to visit shops here in preparation to celebrate the Eid.
Perfume, textile, and tailoring shops at the souq are witnessing a steady flow of people.
“No crowd in large numbers is being witnessed so far. However, we’re starting to see a rush, with a few days remaining for the Eid,” said cloth merchant Zainudheen.
Qatari men mostly come here to shop for the traditional *thawb (also spelt *thobe) and pants that they wear during Eid celebrations, while Qatari ladies go for traditional *abayas and *jalabiyas.
*Thawbs are sold mostly in white, while *abayas and *jalabiyas are available in various designs and colours.
“Some pick readymade clothes, while most buyers go for the clothes that they get stitched from the shops here,” said Abdul Rahman, another cloth merchant.
Stitching services are available at some shops that sell the clothes.
Arabs, according to seller Jaya Prakash, go for *thawb and *kameez while those of other ethnicities pick *jubbas, pajamas, shirts, and pants.
Women from India and Pakistan, according to the cloth merchants at Souq Waqif, tended to pick conventional *churidars.
The merchants added that no change has been observed with regards to the clothing choices among Qataris and expatriates.
Souq Waqif has rows of shops that beckon buyers with the traditional headwear (*gatra) and skull caps (*gahfiya).
Shop owners here say that readymade *gatras have been in good demand for the past few years.
*Gatras for both men and children are available in various colours and designs, apart from the normal one in white.
Qataris also have a penchant towards buttons that are sold here in multiple designs and sizes.
“For some Qataris, the Eid is the time to buy new rosaries and watches,” said Abdul Rahman.
Sales of perfumes and Oud also tended to see a spike during the Eid season.
Ahmed Shahbaj, who runs a perfume shop, said that people are increasingly coming for perfumes and Oud after the lull attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The scenario remains grim after Covid-19 crisis struck the market. But things are improving,” he said.
Shahbaj added that most people prefer to come and shop in the evening to avoid summer heat during the day.