The Wholesale Markets In Doha, Qatar
When the weather starts to cool down after the hot summer months and you feel brave enough to venture outside again, a great place to visit and go shopping is the wholesale market between Salwa Road and Haloul Street.
This is not one market but a collection of markets and shops. Central to the area is the vegetable market. There is no fancy layout here this is a place where fresh produce is piled high on all sides. Outside, men with wheel barrows and long white beards wait to cart your purchases back to your car.
You can save money on the supermarkets here, if you bargain hard. We have found the best strategy is to build up a relationship with a one market seller. Not only does he give us good prices, if we need something he doesn't have, he will locate it, bargain for it and obtain it for a better price than we could get ourselves. It is also a great place to bring your kids its one place they will get spoilt with little gifts of fruit rather than sweets.
Behind the veg market is a row of shops where you can only buy vegetables in bulk. Walk past these shops and you will come to the Omani market, where there are sweet smelling spices and herbs, dried fish and, when the season is right and there has been some rain, desert truffles.
The Omani market shares a roof with plant stalls, where flowers, cactus plants and palm trees jostle for place and you can occasionally buy herbs such as rosemary and mint.
In the fish market opposite the vegetable market, squid, crayfish, prawns and fish from the size of your finger to higher than your head are spread out, often incredibly cheap. Here you will find yourself jostling with restaurant owners and shop keepers shouting to get the best price.
Outside men wait with cardboard boxes, hoping to sell you a box for a few riyals, carry your fish or gut and clean the fish for you.
Behind the fish market is the live animal market. This covers a huge area of land, and you can find camels, sheep, goats, chickens and cows for sale here. This is the place if you like your meat fresh there's a slaughter house on your premises. (It's best not to park behind the slaughter house).
We've found that we can save a lot of money by shopping in the markets. But for me, the best thing about them is getting away from the plastic artificiality of the supermarket where nobody ever knows you, and making friends with the friendly market sellers.