Dubai market gets ready with 'fresher' veggies and fruits
Vendors check quality of fruits and vegetables at Al Aweer market. - Photo by Dhes Handumon
Dubai - Al Aweer market to have new cold storage unit from March
Residents can soon buy 'fresher' fruits and veggies, as the Central Fruits and Vegetable Market in Al Aweer is all set to get an array of new facilities to improve services.
Spread across over one kilometre square area, the sprawling market was built in 2004 to meet the emirate's requirements for fruit and vegetable trade till 2012.
"After 2012, we have been feeling a lot of pressure because the business has been growing so fast," said Faisal Abdullah Mohamad, the head of the market managed by the Dubai Municipality.
"Therefore, we are creating new facilities to improve the services in the market and keep the products even fresher." Over 600 trucks visit the market every day, each carrying between 22 to 26 tonnes of fruits and vegetables straight from local farms and various ports.
The average quantity of products that reach the market is 16,000 tonnes depending on seasons, weather conditions, and domestic situations in countries sending the produce. A new three-storey building for cold storage and covered and air-conditioned service area for wholesale trucks are in the pipeline.
The new cold storage unit, valued around Dh1.3billion, will have 56 stores and is expected to be operational from March. The covered service area with central air conditioning facility will be ready by the end of the year. "We are yet to decide on one of the two designs that have been suggested for the service area," said Mohamad. The municipality is looking at whether to opt for a design that allows 304 trucks to be parked at the service area for 48hours or to choose another design that allows some 135 trucks to unload their goods and exit the same day.
"There is a new yard planned for re-exporting services to GCC and Yemen, and parking for visitors will also be increased."
Instead of two separate shaded areas for local products and imported products, he said, there will now be a 150 per cent bigger shaded cover for all the categories together. "There will be four shaded areas joined together to cover all local and imported products. Also, we will increase the space for the products coming from the seaport with basement parking facility for the customers and additional parking for trucks coming for loading and unloading."
The official was speaking after the municipality signed a memorandum of understanding with Planetfair consolidating Dubai's position as a regional hub for trading fresh produce.
Assistant Director-General for General Support Obaid Salem Al Shamsi signed the MoU with Tarek Sibai, project Manager of Planetfair, announcing the municipality's strategic sponsorship for the seventh edition of the International Perishables Expo Middle East this year. World of Perishables (WOP) Dubai is the GCC region's only exhibition responsible for fresh edible food and will be held from October 5 to 7 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality, WOP Dubai is expected to shed light on the latest market trends in the perishables industry while also showcasing leading local and international fruits and vegetable suppliers.
> New three-storey building for cold storage
> Covered AC service area for wholesale trucks
> New yard for re-exporting
> Expanded shaded areas for local and imported products
> Additional parking for visitors and trucks