Fresh Deals at Al Mazrouah Farmers' Yard
From grabbing a bite of homemade balaleet to buying a bouquet of flowers, shopping at one of Qatar’s farmers' yards is a great way to support the local farming community and save some money.
Recently I visited one of the markets—Al Mazrouah Yard—to find out what's on offer this growing season.
What to expect
Al Mazrouah Yard is a rustic, no-frills, open-air space with large awnings offering produce from over 20 local farms including Al Safwa Organic Farm, where customers are expected to purchase in 2–3kg quantities. Don't be put off by the bulk purchasing: you can always go with a friend and split your purchases.
It’s the beginning of the growing season, so the market is still waiting for tomatoes and hydroponic lettuces. However, there are aubergines, cucumbers, beans, gourds, cucumbers and large bunches of herbs such as coriander and dill. You can also find fresh dates, local honey, eggs, ghee and homemade spice blends.
Cash is necessary at the farmers' yards as there are no credit card facilities available. All produce in the main market (under the canopies) is clearly priced in both English and Arabic on large white cards. Prices are set by Baladiya who inspects the produce daily to record and monitor fair and competitive prices.
A small section of the market is reserved for imported fruit and vegetables. Here you’ll find potatoes from Pakistan, garlic from China, pineapples, peaches, plums and an assortment of other produce from around the globe.
These were the prices on the day of my visit:
- 1kg dill: QAR 4
- 3kg beans: QAR 7
- Tray of 30 eggs: QAR 30
- 500g of local honey: QAR 125
- 1kg fresh ghee: QAR 100
- 2kg okra: QAR 15
- Tray of 16 imported peaches: QAR 15
- Box of 12 imported plums: QAR 8
- 5kg imported garlic: 20 riyal
- Pineapple: QAR 5 each
- Kingfish: QAR 30 per kg
- Hammour: QAR 55 per kg
- Crab: QAR 15 per kg
More than just fruits and veg
At the entrance to the market is a small café run by a Qatari home cook offering balaleet, chickpeas and Arabic bread, homemade chilli sauces, spice blends, coffee, karak and juices for a bargain. You can grab yourself a wholesome breakfast and watch the market hustle and bustle at one of the outdoor, covered seating areas.
Also on-site is a small fish market with fresh, locally caught seafood, including hamour, sherri and crab. The seafood is stored in large, glass stalls and displayed on ice or in cooler boxes. Prices are negotiable and fish are sold whole, but can have your purchase filleted and cleaned for QAR 1 per kilo.
A small garden store, owned by Arab Qatari Agricultural Production Company, offers a variety of imported and local indoor and outdoor plants such as jasmine, rose, aloe, basil and papaya. Prices range from approximately QAR 15–40 per plant with small pots of basil priced at QAR 1. Plants are sold individually and you can pick up some handy gardening utensils such as watering cans, fertiliser or potting soil (50 litres for QAR 30), and ceramic or plastic pots (QAR 25–40).
Located in the centre of the yard is a small shop selling super fresh, locally grown lilies in a variety of colours and quantities. This is a real bargain—flowers are sold in bunches of six, ten and fifteen for only QAR 5 per stem.
Al Mazrouah Yard is approximately 40 minutes from central Doha. From Doha, head up Shamal Road past IKEA. Take Exit 16 and turn left on to the flyover. Go straight until you see the Al Mazrouah Yard signposts (Please note this is a busy road with many trucks and construction sites). There is a dirt parking lot in front of the yard. Look for the porters before you walk in. They will help you carry your produce if you plan on stocking up.
You’ll need to plan a morning out to Al Mazrouah Yard. While the location may seem too far for some people (especially if you live in Doha centre), it’s worth the trip if you want to buy freshly grown, local produce in large quantities for a reasonable price. It’s also a great morning out for a slice of local culture.