I love this time of the year in Qatar, for two reasons: the weather & Festive vibes. Yes, you read that right! Many of you might think that you will have to forget about celebrating Christmas once you live in Qatar, because in the end:
a. It’s a Muslim country, and
b. December here feels like summer in Europe.
I’m happy to report that it is definitely possible to feel the Festive spirit in Qatar!
To begin with, being a Muslim country does not automatically mean that celebrating festivities related to other religions is prohibited. On the contrary, around the end of November many stores in Qatar whip out their Christmas decor and proudly put it on display. There are also quite a few Festive events organized around town (although sadly the number of those has been limited due to the pandemic!).
And as far as the weather is concerned… Yes, I still desperately miss white Christmas (one of my fondest childhood memories are related to playing in the knee-deep snow on Christmas morning), but the weather here IS wonderful in December – sunny and pleasantly warm, with refreshing chill at night.
You might be curious whether our multicultural family celebrates Christmas. The answer is: YES! How is it possible, you might ask, considering that at least one of us is definitely not Christian? In our family, we approach Christmas from a more secular standpoint. We appreciate it for the time we spend with our family, having some breathing space from everyday life, surrounded by joy, and sparkle, and delicious food! 🙂
With the Season upon us, many are wondering what are the best places to buy Festive decorations & other seasonal items. It has been my absolute pleasure to roam around Doha on a hunt for those, so I can share my findings with you now! The list is long, so I decided to divide it by price range, into “affordable”, “mid-range” and “pricey”.
Ho Ho Ho… 🙂
I used to do most of my Christmas decor shopping in Daiso. Disappointingly, this year it seems that their choice is more limited than usual. Still, you can find some cheap decor, as well as Santa costumes, which are not easy to spot in Qatar!
My favorite find during this year’s Christmas shopping! Hema has a really big choice of cute and affordable Christmas decor. On top of that, you can find quite unusual things which are not really available anywhere else (think: themed toothpicks and gorgeous seasonal gift stickers).
All big supermarkets (Carrefour, Lulu, Monoprix etc.)
I love it how every December a significant part of every big supermarket is magically transformed into Winter Wonderland! We like buying the decor basics in Carrefour, and this year I’m also happy with the choice that Monoprix is offering.
Over the past couple of years, IKEA has grown to be the most popular place in Qatar to shop for Christmas decor. You can depend on them when it comes to the choice and how cute everything looks. Most of their items are quite reasonably priced too!
Where do I even start? If you’d like to create your own miniature Christmas town – head to Ace! They have all those gorgeous tiny houses, figurines and more. We also found that as far as artificial Christmas trees are concerned, Ace has the best ones for the price.
Another one of my finds this year. H&M Home is not the place where you would go to look for Festive things. I walked in trying to find something else and saw this good-sized display of everything-Christmas! I especially liked their selection of cushion covers.
Marks & Spencer
M&S has been a star of Christmas for the past couple of years! So much, in fact, that when I went in last week a big portion of their stock was already gone! They still have many Festive items – I especially like their Christmas scents which I was not able to find anywhere else.
This place oozes Christmas vibes! Located in the heard of Old Airport (where nobody would expect to find such a place), Naaz Store is the only shop in Qatar dedicated fully to selling Festive items! If you just moved to Doha and would like to buy everything in bulk from one place – Naaz Store is where you should be headed.
3. PRICEY (BUT WORTH IT!)
Pottery Barn (and Pottery Barn Kids!)
I love the Christmas decor in Pottery Barn! It’s classy (not flashy!), cozy and, sadly, very expensive. Their tableware is my dream gift (I couldn’t afford to get all of it myself), and their ornaments beautiful. They play oldschool Christmas music in their shop too, which completes the experience.
West Elm is a lot like Pottery Barn (classy and expensive!) but there are some minor differences between the two. While Pottery Barn carries ornaments in the whole Christmas color palette, West Elm seems to focus more on gold and silver, with only a splash of green & red here and there. It creates a different, quite interesting, vibe.
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