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Abu Shagara used car traders seek more time to relocate

Abu Shagara used car traders seek more time to relocate

In a written complaint addressed to the Sharjah Municipality, the traders alleged they were not given enough time to decide their future course of action.

By Afkar Abdullah/principal Correspondent

Published: Fri 12 Jun 2015, 12:52 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:08 PM

An aerial shot of the used car market in Abu Shagara, Sharjah.

Sharjah — Around 250 used car traders in Abu Shagara approached the authorities on Wednesday to review a decision taken by a semi-government finance company to hike the annual parking rent and shift them to a new market in Rauqah Al Hamra on short notice.

The showrooms in Abu Shagara used car market have been notified that a fresh lease for show rooms in the new market will start from July.

However, the residents of Abu Shagara expressed happiness about the decision and appreciated the authorities for their efforts to solve their suffering in the area.

Osool, the company in charge of  managing the markets in Sharjah, issued a deadline to the traders on Monday, instructing them to sign a new leasing contract in five working days, or else it will be given to someone else.

In a written complaint addressed to the Sharjah Municipality, the traders alleged they were not given enough time to decide their future course of action. They also pointed out they cannot afford the high rent and security deposit as demanded by the new market management, due to “dull business”.

A top official at the Sharjah Municipality said that the new market in Al Ruqah Al Hamra area located between Sharjah International Airport and the Sharjah Free Zone, was constructed by the municipality in order to put an end to traffic congestion and the residents’ parking woes in Abu Shagara.  After the completion of the market, the municipality handed it over to Osool to carry out the shifting and moving process and it is not under the municipality’s responsibility any more.

Dull business

A notice was issued to the traders asking them to pay an annual rent of Dh245,000 in two instalments and a security deposit of Dh75,000. It also said the maximum number of parking spots available at the new market is 24.

Dr Hussam, manager of a used car shop at the market, said that they only wanted the authorities to reduce the price, as the market — which mostly depend on exports to other Arab countries — is on the decline due to the worsening political situation in the region.

Amer Ahmed, owner of another used car shop at the market, said: “We gathered and signed the letter to seek at least two to three months’ time to make necessary arrangements for shifting. I just renewed my lease, and it is very difficult to breach the existing contract to go for a new one. I can’t continue paying here and pay for the new showroom, besides the huge security deposit. We have families to take care of, and this hike will not allow us to meet the cost of living, rent, school, food and power bills.”

Another showroom owner said: “They must allow us to move when our lease contract expires and the municipality must not issue any new leasing in the current market. The landlord will not return our cheques and we have paid the parking rent for the municipality in advance; so what can we do now?”

Owner of Al Rayan showroom, Hamid, said: “I pay Dh48,000 in annual rent now and how can afford to pay Dh245,000 in addition to Dh75,000 security deposit? The business is very slow; the profit only allows us to cover the cost of living.”

Harris Maki, owner of Maki showroom, said that the new building is great in its design, but it lack services, such as hotels, restaurant. “The rent and security deposit is so high and it’s going to be big loss for us”

Jamal Al Shafer, owner of Al Sahara showroom, said: “There is no coordination between Osool, municipality and the traders. The municipality doesn’t know anything about this issue and we don’t understand any of these procedures.”

Waleed  Al Saeeg, Director-General of Sharjah Central Financial department in his comment to a Sharjah radio programme, said that Osool is a Sharjah government body chaired by Shaikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi.

He added Sharjah government has assigned Osool to manage the new used market in Al Ruqah Al Hamra, which was constructed on a design based on the most advanced standards.

The market was constructed as His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, was keen to ensure a safe, secure and peaceful environment for the residents of Abu Shagara and Abu Danig. The market is now ready to welcome the traders.

He added that the decision has been taken based on studies,  data base and surveys conducted on all the used cars showrooms. He said that the market was initially constructed to accommodate 75 per cent of the show rooms of Abu Shagara and Abu Danig, but Sharjah Department of Public Works has solved the problem by opening temporary parking space until the expansion is completed to accommodate all the showrooms.


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