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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Coffee and dancing at Souq Waqif

If you are looking for somewhere to go at night which is a little more authentic than a hotel night club, then Eshariq Coffee might be the answer. This Qatari restaurant is popular with both western expats and Qataris, and provides strong Arab coffee and Shisha (flavoured tobacco smoked through a water pipe).

In the evening they also serve Qatar traditional food, which you may wish to avoid unless your stomach is well accustomed to the local bugs. Cushions are provided on benches so that you can recline while smoking your shishsa - which you can do either in the coffee shop, on the verendah or out on the courtyard. The space on the roof is reserved for families.

When we went there on a Friday evening the place was particularly lively, with Arab musicians sitting on the floor or the square outside the cafe. They were playing traditional instruments, including the Arabic lute, and every so often one, two or three singers would get up and dance to the music.

Listen to the sounds of Arabic drums and singing.

Listen to the sounds of the Arabian Oud (lute)

Although it was ten o' clock at night when we left, there were still some shops open to browse through. We particularly liked this little shop selling Arab shoes, which had been temporarily abandoned by its owner.

Even though Souq Waqif itself is far from being complete, there's already numerous other little cafes and restaurants and we look forward to exploring it further in the future.

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