She’s not your normal tour guide. Yasmin Mansour, a FTA Prize finalist this year, as she was in 2019, in the Ready-to-Wear category, is the creative director of one of the first luxury womenswear labels based in Qatar, one that is inspired by Arab culture. Today she’ll tell you all about the ‘It’ places to visit in her hometown. “Qatar is generally evolving everyday with new places and areas opening, however I find myself attracted to the old just as much as the new, so here are my favorite spots in ‘Q Town’,” she says.
1 | Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif is a marketplace in Doha. The souq sells traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It is also home to restaurants and Shisha lounges. The original building dates back at least from the 20th Century in a traditional Qatari architectural style. Walking in the old market streets is something Mansour finds truly inspiring and grounding. Over the years and despite the changes to the area in which it sits, the souq still holds its old soul and that’s key to this special place.
2 | The new Msheireb Downtown Doha
This is a developing area with contemporary architecture, gleaming white mosques, and a cluster of history museums housed in elegant, Arabic-style mansions. “I have a few favourite spots there, the first being Nomad Coffee, make sure to try their iced tea! The second spot in Msheireb is Studio7, one of my favourite shopping destinations as it holds a unique variety of products made by local artists and designers. Located in M7, it really is a hub for people to unleash their creativity and share it with others and it also includes some pieces of mine!” says Mansour.
3 | The Museum of Islamic Art
This museum sits on one end of Doha’s seven-kilometer-long Corniche. As per the architect I. M. Pei’s specifications, the museum is built on an island off an artificial peninsula near the traditional dhow harbor. “There you can find one of my favorite restaurants, Idam, which offers a great view of the Qatar skyline,” Mansour says.
4 | Mjaysfood
Last but not least, Mansour advises you not to miss “Mjaysfood”, founded by Mjay AlThani who travels with her food concept around Doha in a pop up. Once you find her, try her famous cheesecake and shop till you drop at Therkn concept store in the Msheireb area.