Wednesday 17 January 2024

Discover Souq Al Matar: A Cultural Oasis at Hamad International Airport

Embark on a journey through Qatar's rich cultural heritage without leaving Hamad International Airport (HIA). Qatar Duty Free proudly presents Souq Al Matar, an innovative blend of retail and dining, immersing travelers in the vibrant energy of traditional Qatari markets. Let's explore this groundbreaking concept that redefines airport experiences.

Experience Qatari Heritage at Souq Al Matar: Souq Al Matar, meaning 'airport' in Arabic, is a traditional Qatari marketplace nestled in the North Node terminal of HIA. Crafted in collaboration with award-winning architect Mr. Ibrahim M. Jaidah, this unique concept brings a 'Sense of Place' by recreating the ambiance of Qatar's iconic traditional markets.

The Souq boasts wicker woven ceilings, arched doorways, wooden-framed windows, and other decorative details that transport visitors to the bustling markets of Qatar. At the heart of the Souq, a displayed dhow boat pays homage to the maritime trade, intertwining with the markets' historical significance.

Cultural Experiences: During the first week of the Souq's opening, visitors are treated to captivating cultural experiences. Live demonstrations of basket-weaving and Sadu weaving, a traditional craft combining geometric patterns and vibrant colors, showcase Qatar's rich craftsmanship. Greeters adorned in traditional Qatari attire welcome guests with Arabic coffee "gahwa" and dates, symbols of hospitality in Qatari culture.

Skilled artisans tailor the Bishit, a traditional men’s robe, while Henna artists create intricate designs on women's hands. A Naham group performs "sea music," a tradition practiced by pearl divers for encouragement. Renowned composer Dana Al Fardan's orchestral performance blends melodies from the past and present, enriching the cultural experience.

Qatar Airways Group CEO, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, emphasizes the goal of making the airport experience a cultural journey. Qatar Duty Free Senior VP, Mr. Thabet Musleh, highlights Souq Al Matar as a unique, first-of-its-kind concept, offering 'transit tourism.'

Architect Mr. Ibrahim M. Jaidah shares his goal of immersing passengers in a vibrant Souq that replicates the authentic Qatari encounter.

Explore the diverse lineup of shops and dining options at Souq Al Matar, mirroring the goods and refreshments found in Qatar’s traditional markets:

  1. Khaneen: Uncover Qatar’s unique aromas with high-quality fragrances.

  2. Al Attar: Immerse in an apothecary store experience with premium honey, dates, coffees, teas, herbs, and spices.

  3. Sogha: Find perfect travel gifts and keepsakes.

  4. Fwala: Indulge in traditional Qatari sweets for special occasions.

  5. Al Darzi: Explore women’s fashion with traditional garments.

  6. Al Beshit: Discover men’s traditional Qatari clothing.

  7. Dukkan: Relish in affordable confectionery, snacks, and local delicacies.

  8. Basta: Experience a modern twist on traditional Qatari cuisine.

  9. Chapati and Karak: Enjoy Qatar’s renowned cafĂ© restaurant concept inspired by traditional Indian cuisine.

Souq Al Matar is not just an airport stopover; it's a cultural haven where travelers can shop, dine, and experience the heart of Qatar. Qatar Duty Free, with its exceptional attention to detail and service, continues to lead in airport retail and catering. Step into Souq Al Matar and let the spirit of Qatar accompany you on your journey.


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