- Special Pages
By Isabel Ovalle
Shop till you drop must be the motto of those visiting the Doha Trade Fair at the Doha Exhibition Center. The 10-day event, which began yesterday, offers 15,000 square metres of shopping space featuring more than 570 exhibitors from 29 countries.
All sorts of stuff can be found at the fair, from household items to electronic gadgets, clothes, rugs and apparel.
Mohsen Shaynan from Iran is on his 12th visit to Qatar to attend the fair. Together with 28 other merchants, he has come to Doha to sell handmade rugs.
The tradition of making rugs in Iran goes back 2,500 years. The carpets are very popular in the region, particularly in Qatar. “Their quality is understood”, said the rug salesman from Zahabian Carpet. His company has brought more than 300 rugs to be sold during the fair, and “sales are going well,” he said, even though the fair had started only yesterday.
The carpets are quite expensive, with prices ranging from QR100,000 to QR300,000. Making a 12 square-metre rug takes approximately two years. Only natural materials are used. “That is what families value, because people, even children, can lie on them without facing any skin problems,” Shaynan explained.
Wandering across the crowded exhibition hall, one can find products from various countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Germany, China and Thailand, to name a few.
Shoppers whose hunger is stoked by their exertions can head to a stand of sweets from Turkey which offers chocolates and other delights. Dema Turkish Delights sells small bags of delicacies for around QR30 each. The friendly staff were offering passers-by a sample of the tasty handmade delights made with only natural ingredients.
When it comes to sweets, Qatar is not far behind, offering specialities such as stuffed dates and much more. Naser Al Hajeri, the founder-owner of The Minis Shop, says his outlet offers not only dates but also other healthy sweets targeting children, in particular.
Three years ago, Al Hajeri decided to open an online shop, which can now be found on Facebook and Instagram as well. With the collaboration of his wife and partner, the family business, which initially ran under the name ‘Mini Dates’, also delivers their products. They also sell coffee served in special gold and silver pots made in Italy.It’s the fourth time The Minis Shop is having a stand at the fair and Al Hajeri is very satisfied with the result so far.