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Al Rawnaq Trading Centres Review



Ask around for the best places to find stationery, craft supplies, school supplies or various knickknacks in Doha and someone is sure to tell you to check out Al Rawnaq. Their description may be vague and directions a little confusing (“What do you mean it’s underground behind the KFC?”). In fact (despite what the outdated shopping bags say), there currently are four locations throughout Doha. Some are under new management and each carries their own varied stock and trinkets.

Here’s what you need to know about each of these treasure-troves of craft lovers and stationery shoppers. Please note, that due to the nature of these stores, the information below (especially the products available) can change frequently. 

Al Rawnaq, Bin Omran

This big daddy of Al Rawnaq stores is located in the Town Centre complex across the road from Al Ahli Hospital. It is the main Al Rawnaq store and doubles up as its head office. For such stature, it has a deceptively small and humble entrance where you are greeted with the sight of women’s and girl’s shoes and cosmetic jewellery. However, when you descend into to the depths of its basement level, you actually get a sense of the magnitude of the treasures it holds.

This is the store to visit if you are looking for card stock, paint, pens, markers, craft paper or other craft and office supplies. The store itself is well laid out with different items such as craft supplies, stationery supplies and party supplies clustered together. For a store known for its craft and stationery stock, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find they also carry abayas, shoes (albeit a very small selection) and serving dishes and glassware. 

The staff is very willing to answer questions—including very tricky ones—about the wares and to help find certain items. However, they are not a 100 per cent knowledgeable about each of the items sold within the store so it pays to look around. (Once you visit, you’ll quickly see how difficult it would be to remember every single item in the store.)

Things to buy

  • School and office stationery: books, pens, markers, calculators, files, staplers, sharpeners and paper punches. Some of these items are available in sets.
  • Craft: bells, ribbons and embellishments
  • Ceramic items to be painted (similar to that found in Café Ceramique)
  • Party bags, favours and balloons
  • Party wares such as paper and plastic cups, and plastic cutlery
  • Contact paper including patterned ones
  • Art supplies: paints, crayons, pencils (these are also available in sets), different kinds of craft paper, foam board, canvases
  • Shoes
  • Abayas
  • Household goods: serving dishes, cutlery, sets of tumblers, infusing water bottles
  • Handbags and shopping bags
  • Hat boxes
  • Children’s toys
  • School supplies: bags, snack boxes, drink wares

Things to love

  • It is a veritable treasure-trove for art and craft lovers as well as school supplies. You can easily find all your party supplies here—especially for a kid’s party.
  • The staff is very friendly and helpful, going even so far as to try to find the answers of very tricky questions (e.g. I asked them how many bells were in a packet. The packet didn’t say and they didn’t know so they tried to be helpful and count.). 
  • Layout is quite easy making it easy to find the items you need.

Things that can be improved

  • Product knowledge could be better.
  • You might face a bit of a language barrier.
  • Not disability friendly.
  • Parking might pose a problem during peak shopping hours.

Basic information

Location: Town Centre (near Al Ahli Hospital), Behind KFC, Ahmed Bin Ali Street, Bin Omran

Store hours: Sat – Thu: 8:00 to 13:00, 16:00 to midnight, Fri: 16:00 to midnight

Telephone number: +974 4488-5808

Discount on bulk purchases: Yes

Parking: Limited within the Town Centre complex

Alternative parking: N/A

Disability friendly: No

Al Rawnaq, Souq Al Badi, Opposite Souq Waqif

This is the second branch of the Al Rawnaq stores and one of two located near Souq Waqif and opposite Al Deera. Again housed in a two-storeyed complex, this Al Rawnaq branch is a dream for the dressmakers and craft-makers. It largely houses ribbons, threads, laces, cords, brocade, braids, appliqués, buttons and hair accessories at a very reasonable rate with a very limited selection of fabric, hatboxes and baby shower gift items. While one will largely find ribbons, laces, threads and buttons on the first floor, the remainder of its wares are well displayed on the ground floor.

Things to love

  • The store is loaded in variety with dressmaking necessities and is located conveniently close to the fabric souq. 
  • Plenty of hair accessories to be found here
  • Layout is quite easy and it is easy to find the items on your list.
  • The store has a very open an airy feel to it, which makes shopping even more pleasurable.

Things that can be improved

  • The staff is not very friendly.
  • Not disability friendly.
  • Miniscule parking spaces with the alternative a little bit away, across the road.

Basic information

Location: Souq Al Badi, opposite Souq Waqif, Behind the Fanar (wedding cake building), close to Souq Al Aseiry, Abdullah Bin Jassim Street, Al Souq

Store hours: Sat – Thu: 8:00 to 13:00, 16:00 to midnight; Fri: 16:00 to midnight

Telephone number: +974 4441-4420

Discount on bulk purchases: Yes

Parking: Few spaces just outside the store

Alternative parking: Souq Waqif underground parking (paid)

Disability friendly: No

Al Rawnaq, Souq Al Jabor, Opposite Souq Waqif

This is the other Al Rawnaq store near Souq Waqif and is a short walk away from the one mentioned above. Located in Souq Al Jabor, near the National Exchange, this Al Rawnaq store is unique in that it boasts of being the place to shop for clothes for men women and children, watches and cosmetic jewellery instead for a craft-lover’s haven. It also hosts a mini-supermarket. Also, unlike the other Al Rawnaqs, this store has a more “mall” feel to it with clothes and jewellery displayed in different stalls rather than in different aisles under one roof. 

However, like the other Al Rawnaq stores, this one too has two-storeys. The lower floor houses the supermarket and clothes, cosmetics and jewellery stalls while the upper floor holds men’s, women’s and children’s clothes; footwear and a limited selection of toys, household goods, craft supplies and party supplies.

Things to love

  • There are many options in terms of clothes.
  • Presence of a supermarket
  • The staff is friendly and helpful.

Things that can be improved

  • With clothes and jewellery located in different stalls as well as on the first floor, layout of the wares becomes a little tricky.
  • Not disability friendly
  • Parking might pose a problem during peak shopping hours.

Basic information

Location: Souq Al Jabor, opposite Souq Waqif, Near the National Exchange in the Al Souq area, Jaber Bin Mohammed Street, Al Souq

Store hours: Sat – Thu: 8:00 to midnight, Fri: 13:00 to midnight

Telephone number: +974 4029-3754

Discount on bulk purchases: Yes

Parking: Few spaces just outside the store

Alternative parking: Souq Waqif underground parking (paid)

Disability friendly: No

New Remedy, Matar Qadeem

Formerly known as Al Rawnaq, this store has changed its name and management and is now known as New Remedy. However, the store has retained its former look and feel and the manager was quick to assure that the merchandising is the same.

Again a two-storeyed building, the store houses very similar merchandise as the Al Rawnaq store in the Town Centre complex. However this store departs from the former in that you can also find plastic furniture here but it does not sell any footwear.

At the time of writing this review, the store was restocking items and the staff was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, even to the point where they knew that some merchandise had just arrived for stocking. It is also worth noting that while the store does not seem to have the magnitude and variety of stock as the Bin Omran store, this particular one does not close during the afternoon as is customary with all other Al Rawnaq stores.

Things to love

  • Quite well stocked and a bit of a one-stop-shop for art and craft aficionados and school supplies.
  • The staff is very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • The store is open and airy, making shopping very pleasurable.

Things that can be improved

  • The locations of certain items aren’t always intuitive and you may find similar items in multiple locations.
  • Not disability friendly.
  • Parking might pose a problem during peak shopping hours although there is alternative parking available nearby.

Basic information

Location: Same line as Family Food Centre but beyond the next signal, going from Toyota Signal to E-Ring Road, Near the Police Films Store and Oriental Bakery, Matar Qadeem (Old Airport) Road, Matar Qadeem

Store hours: Sat – Thu: 8:00 to 00:30, Fri: 15:00 to 01:00 

Telephone number: +974 4444-3252

Website: remedyqatar.com

Discount on bulk purchases: Yes

Parking: Limited spaces outside the store

Alternative parking: Unknown at present time

Disability friendly: No

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