Shops, markets in Mina Zayed to be temporarily closed on Thursday, Friday

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on November 24, 2020
File photo

Authorities announce closure to allow safe demolition of Meena Plaza Towers.

Shops and markets in Abu Dhabi’s Mina Port area (Mina Zayed) will be temporarily closed from 7pm on Thursday, November 26 until 4pm on Friday, November 27 to allow the safe demolition of the Meena Plaza Towers, authorities have announced.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) said the abandoned unfinished tower blocks in the Mina Zayed area, will be demolished this weekend to pave the way for an all-new wharf in the iconic port-side community.

The temporary closure will cover the fish, fruits and vegetable markets, cooperative society, carpet and livestock markets and the slaughterhouse.

Authorities have advised residents wishing to shop during the temporary closure period to go to other markets and shopping centres.

Ahmed Al Kuwaiti, Director of Urban Planning at DMT affirmed that safety comes first on top of the department's priorities in performing its tasks.

“We are working in full cooperation with various strategic partners to ensure that the demolition procedure goes on smoothly and in the safest manner. We are carefully following safety measures to facilitate the demolition work as we ensure that the comfort and safety of the local community is maintained,” said Al Kuwaiti.

Bringing down the towers is part of the second phase of the mega project for the redevelopment of Mina Zayed. Authorities had revealed details about the master plan – the Mina Zayed Wharf, which is being redeveloped as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalise the iconic landmark and traditional markets of the Capital.

Modon Properties which was appointed by the DMT to carry out the demolition of Meena Plaza Towers earlier said that following detailed structural analysis and calculations for towers, which comprise four large and individually designed high rise structures, the demolition methodology was confirmed as complete demolition by structural explosions, a methodology known for its superior quality and high safety record. In the event of the implosion, a total of 144 floors will be demolished in 10 seconds.  Modon Properties has also been tasked with the redevelopment of designated areas in Mina Zayed.

Spanning over 3 million square metres, the expansive project is set to foster trade and investment operations in the Capital, as well as support the urban development of Abu Dhabi while safeguarding the nation’s authentic identity and heritage.

Inaugurated in 1972, Mina Zayed has served as the main port in Abu Dhabi for over 40 years. It has been distinguished as one of the regional pioneers in the maritime industry, playing an instrumental role in boosting Abu Dhabi’s international trade.

Best open-air souq: Residents share fond memories of Mina Market

Residents and shoppers have shared warm memories of Abu Dhabi’s Mina Market that’s set to be refurbished. The traditional market is close to the Mina Plaza Towers that will be demolished this Friday.

The Zayed Port Wharf is being redeveloped as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalise the iconic landmark and traditional markets of the Capital.

The Mina Market has been one such bustling marketplace, where residents could find a number of traditional-style souqs. It sold a variety of goods, including fruit and vegetables, fish, dates and carpets.

Tariq Mohammed, a longtime resident of Abu Dhabi, said he has many fond memories of the open-air market. “I have always liked this traditional marketplace. It has been my shopping place for more than 15 years. I always visit the market with family over the weekend for shopping. Everything available there is cheaper compared to other places.

“Mina Market is home to fresh fruits, vegetables and the best quality dates of the UAE.”

The Pakistani, who came to the UAE in the early 80s, said he still remembers when the souq in Zayed Port was opened during the mid-90s. “It was fantastic as traditional wooden dhows from Iran started docking at the port with stuff like wood for camp fires, lawn chairs and large cooking pots.”

Another resident, Sabir Hussein, who has been staying in Abu Dhabi for more than 40 years, said the market is his go-to destination for fresh produce.

“It is one of the biggest markets for fruits and vegetables in Abu Dhabi and many people visit it to buy stuff at low prices,” said the Ugandan expat.

“My family has been shopping from the Mina Market since it was opened almost 20 years ago. We love the fruits and vegetables at Mina Market; they are fresh all the time.”

Popular among Emiratis

Emirati Hassan Al Dhaheri said the market is a popular shopping place for many Emirati families. “We used to buy fruits and vegetables and barbeque and camping equipment from the market with my parents when I was a small boy,” he said.

“I still visit the market for shopping because of its low-priced items.”


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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