There is a wide variety of shops in Qatar. Supermarkets stock an extensive range of imported goods as well as some local produced vegetables. Many brands have shops in Qatar. Prices tend to be higher than in your home country and the product range may be more limited. For an indication of the cost of living in Qatar compared to your current location, please visit Expatistan: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living
Shopping malls are generally open from 8.00am until 12 midnight all week long, however on Friday mornings they close between11.00am and 12.30PM for prayers. These hours apply for supermarkets and some coffee shops; other shops in malls open around 9.30am from Sunday until Thursday and around 12.30pm on Friday.
Shops in the Souqs are open from 8.00am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 9pm or later, Saturday to Thursday; and 1pm to 9pm on Fridays.
Supermarkets can be stand alone buildings and you will also find them in all the large shopping malls. There are several supermarket chains in Doha, such as Carrefour, Lulu, Al Meera, Family Food Centre and a number of independent outlets. They offer an extensive range of imported goods as well as locally produced food. MegaMart and Monoprix offer a larger selection of imported items and tend to be more expensive. If there is a particular product that you are concerned about please contact Outpost.
Most supermarkets offer a good selection vegetables, fish and meat. Beef, veal, chicken and lamb are imported from Australia, New Zealand, and USA. Pork and pork products are only available from Qatar Distribution Company (QDC).
There are local markets for fresh fruit/vegetables & fish located just off Salwa Road (follow the signs for wholesale market). The range of products is excellent & very fresh – bartering is expected. Some stalls only sell per box/crate, others also sell smaller volumes. During the winter months there is a Farmer’s Market north of IKEA. For more information, please visit: http://dohanews.co/photos-farmers-markets-open-around-qatar/.
There are several large shopping malls in the city and many more are under construction. Most malls include supermarkets, brand shops, food courts, many restaurants, a multiplex cinema and an indoor children’s play area/amusement park. Main shopping malls near Shell accommodation are: City Center, Landmark Mall, Lagoona Mall and Villaggio.
IKEA opened in 2013 at Festival City, just off the Shamal (D ring) Road going north out of Doha. You can see its distinctive blue and yellow colouring from the main road.
The alternative to mall shopping is a trip to the local souqs which range from the traditional markets to multi-storied complexes. In these souqs, one can find everything from traditional handicrafts to pashmina shawls to spices and local sweets.
Souq Waqif (Old Souq) is the oldest souq in Doha and is the most traditional. Originally a weekend market used by the Bedouin, it has evolved into a maze of narrow alleyways filled with small shops. It is made up of different sections, each focusing on product types such as spices, fabrics, etc.
The Gold Souq is made up of dozens of tiny shops selling imported gold jewelry (usually from Bahrain) and precious stones. All gold sold in Qatar is tested and hallmarked to be a genuine product. Most gold is 22 carat.
Online shopping is still in its infancy in Qatar.
Alcoholic beverages for personal consumption can be purchased at Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), the only alcohol outlet in Doha. QDC operates on a membership system. A liquor license can be obtained at QDC. You will need to bring your Qatar ID, a copy of passport as well as a letter of no objection from the employer with an indication of the salary earned. The law states that after purchasing alcohol, one must drive straight home. QDC has a good selection of red and white wines, beer, champagne and spirits from all over the world and is now selling a limited selection of pork and pork products.
A limited range of books, DVD’s & magazines are available at Virgin Megastores (Landmark & Villaggio), at Jarir Bookshop (Salwa Rd near Ramada Plaza) and also at WH Smith in Ezdan Mall. Supermarkets stock some books together with a lesser selection of magazines and local newspapers.