January 24th, 2013

Chinese, happiness

Birds: The Falcon Souq, Doha

P1000950 by shimmertje
P1000950, a photo by shimmertje on Flickr.

Yes, a whole souq for falcons. We never saw this in Oman because falconry is banned there, so of course we had to go.

Getting to the Falcon Souq is quite an adventure. Googling doesn't really help, with a lot of mysterious 'he pointed me around an alley' type directions. It's also misleading that the souq is typically described to be part of the Souq Waqif, as it's not a special area within the souq but a completely separate building. We went round several times, and there is a pet area selling pet birds like parrots, budgies and rainbow chicks, but no falcons. We wondered if it was only open in winter, or if it had been completely demolished. Asking for falcons usually elicits blank stares.

What you REALLY do is get to this square with a police post kinda of in the centre. As of late 2012, there was a Haagen Dazs outlet roughly opposite the police post. Walk past the Haagen Dazs, which should be on your right. You get to a carpark on the left. The Falcon Souq is this multi-storey building with blue bits across the carpark.

There are lots of falcons. Lots and lots and lots. Many, many more than in the Falconry and Heritage Centre in Dubai.

We didn't have time to go again. It is a male-only preserve, by the way, as is (in hindsight) the Falcon Centre. It is best to keep that in mind if you want to go as a family.

Click on the picture to view a larger version of it, or to get to the folder of pictures of Doha 2012.