Store Spotlight: 51 East
One of the most inspiring places to shop for both high and low fashion is in Doha, Qatar. If you’re ever lucky enough to visit, go to the Lagoona Mall in Doha’s affluent West Bay area. There you will find Fifty One East, one of the premier shopping destinations in the country. This luxury store exclusively carries all things Monique, including my Bridal, Couture RTW and Shoe collections. They are dedicated to high-fashion and style, and have THE BEST personal shoppers to help with your every whim! If you can’t find it here – it doesn’t exist. Browse through the store for the very best of Qatar from statement jewelry to mesmerizing fragrances, and of course red-carpet fashion. To get more information, go to 51 East or visit their Facebook page!
For traditional shopping, visit the Souq Waqif (which means standing market). You are immediately immersed in the local culture. For a fun souvenir, take an empty glass jar and ask the spice traders to fill it with layers of colorful cumin, fenugreek, turmeric and ginger. As you roam around the scruffy warren of concrete alleyways, mud-rendered shops and exposed timber beams, have a rest at Ahel Al Sharq Café (People of the East Café) and experience the best traditional Arabic ice cream while locals and expats pass by to form a wonderful melting pot of cultures.
The Museum of Islamic Art is also a MUST! THE MIA is simply the jewel of Doha. This outstanding piece of architecture designed by renowned Chinese-American architect IM Pei is home to a magnificent Islamic art collection from the 7th to the 19th century. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Don’t miss the MIA Park adjacent to the museum where you stroll, participate in activities or just gaze at the Doha skyline from the best vantage point in the city.