Senior officials of the
A huge fire destroyed the over 200 shops in the souq completely in April this year, leaving the traders without their livelihood.
Acting swiftly, the municipality announced the construction of a temporary market for the traders a few metres away from the original souq.
Officials also announced that a permanent market with improved facilities will be built by the end of the year.
The temporary souq was opened in June and traders were not charged for the outlets. However, according to the traders, business is not what it used to be as the location of the temporary market is not known to many.
Speaking to Khaleej Times on Thursday, Khalifa Hareb, Director of Assets Management Department at the civic body, said, “Construction of the permanent souq started last month and will take time to get completed. We are hoping to complete it by February 2010. Once completed, all traders running their business in the temporary market will be given shops there for free. The remaining shops will be auctioned.”
The official, however, did not give the reason of the delay.
The new souq boasts of better facilities and more shops.
The souq will have two air-conditioned floors.
The first floor will follow the local architecture and there will be a car parking area around the main building for the souq visitors.
The the internal and external facades of the building will be according to international standards, officials have said.
The building will also include a cafeteria, administrative office and other public utilities, in addition to escalators and lifts, besides special entry and exit for commodities.
Traders said that the delay was not good news for them.
“Though the municipality has done a commendable job by giving us this temporary arrangement in a short time, business is not the same. Many people don’t know about this new place and hence there is a shortage of customers. Only recently, the authorities put a huge balloon over the market so that people can identify it,” said Naseer, a trader.
“We hope the authorities speed up the construction of the permanent building soon.”
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