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Surge in demand pushes sales of Qatar-themed souvenirs.

Souvenirs depicting Qatari landmarks. Ramesh Mathew

There has been a surge in demand for mementos, souvenirs and other gift items bearing Qatari themes and images of major landmarks in the country, spurred by a wave of patriotic fervour triggered by the economic and diplomatic boycott by some Gulf Arab states. Though such articles usually have good sales in the weeks preceding the Qatar National Day celebrations, the response that the shops currently receive from customers has exceeded the expectations of the sellers.

"There are items starting from QR10 to QR100 or even more," said an official at Safari Mall which has remarkably huge collections of such souvenirs and mementos. Inquiries found there has been an exceptionally good demand for images of such landmarks as Torch Hotel, Souq Waqif, Zubara Fort, Clock Tower and Rayyan Fort among others. Dresses and caps in Qatar colours are also available Cashing in on the popularity of football across the region, particularly in Qatar and also taking into consideration the country's ambitious preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, models of the trophy in different sizes are also put up for sale. Several mementos and souvenirs that could be used as wall hangings are also displayed at shops.

Parents helping their children to select a Qatar-themed mementos at Safari Mall.

There are also Qatar-themed T-shirts, crockery wares, and wall pictures as well. It was found that expatriates going on vacation are mainly purchasing miniature models of the local landmarks. Souvenir shops at Souq Waqif too are also receiving a number of customers, many of them visitors from Western destinations. "Apart from Qatari landmarks, some of them are also asking for models of dhows. The specialty of many of the items sold here is that they are made locally," said a shopkeeper at Souq Waqif.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jun 17, 2017
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