The much awaited heritage village in Al Wakra has started receiving visitors, with the opening of some restaurants and shops recently.
More than ten restaurants, coffee shops, juice stalls and outlets selling Arabic sweets in the traditional complex opened on December 18, to coincide with the National Day. They are located in the area of the complex that is near the Corniche, where capsized dhows have been exhibited.
Built to look old and traditional, the Heritage Village of Al Wakra, dubbed the second Souq Waqif, gives a feeling of walking in a commercial area existing for many years.
Hundreds of small shops in the complex resemble traditional Qatari buildings with walls built with a mud coating and traditional big wooden doors and lanterns. The ceilings of the roofs are made of palm leaves.
The Heritage Village also houses a mosque with gates and walkway made of wood and a well symbolising the old lifestyle in Qatar. Its ample parking space makes it convenient for the visitors unlike other high end commercial complexes.
The heritage village, part of the Al Wakra masterplan, was initiated seven years before. It’s located on the left side a few metres after the well-known shell roundabout in Al Wakra, while going towards Mesaieed from Doha.
The official opening of the complex is scheduled for January, according to earlier reports, although some shops in the complex are still in the last stage of completion.
These shops are supposed to host people involved in making handcrafts and selling traditional instruments. The Heritage Village will also host a museum for pearls.
The Heritage Village has started receiving many visitors within less than a week after its doors opened to public. Many visitors were seen walking along the Corniche and at the restaurants on Tuesday night.
A Qatari visitor who introduced himself as Ibrahim was seen buying traditional Arabic sweets with his family. “This is our first visit here and I’m impressed with the architecture. Many people would choose to come here once all shops are opened because this will give them an escape from the crowded places.”
A group of eight Filipino visitors had come to the Heritage Village seeing the lights on at its parking area. “It’s nice to have a place like this in the Wakrah area, so we don’t have to go to Doha. It’s ideal that they have built it along the beach, this is the only place we have experienced here the restaurants so close to the sea.”
Restaurants and shops at the Heritage Village in Al Wakrah are open between 10am and 11pm daily.
“We have received good number of customers within few days. Hope the numbers will increase when all shops are open and once people get to know about the place,” said an employee at the branch of popular restaurant located at the Heritage Village.
People had the first experienced the Heritage Village in January this year during a South Family Spring Festival organised jointly by Al Wakra Municipality, South Security Department and Community Policing Division.
Source : The Peninsula / Fazeena Saleem