Renovation work disrupts Dubai's fruits and vegetable market
Dubai - The Dh730 million renovation started this month, and will take 16 months to finish
Vendors at Al Aweer Central Fruit and Vegetable Market have complained about the lack of parking spaces for unloading their trucks after the Dubai Municipality recently issued a circular that required space evacuation for renovation.
Faisal Juma Al Badaiwi, head of markets management section at the municipality, told Khaleej Times that the circular was issued due to renovation works that started this month to expand and develop the market's current standing.
"Renovation started based on vendors' request in 2015, who had complaints varying from providing air-conditioned halls to the limited parking spaces," said Badaiwa.
Following a number of meetings with vendors, Badaiwa said the Dh730 million renovation started this month after briefing them on work process, and will take 16 months to finish, during which he requested vendors to be patient.
Fahmy Shawkat, sales manager at Abuseedo trading, said the company receives about 30 containers a day, amounting to 6,000 containers a year that need unloading before products are re-exported.
Taking away parking spaces, he said, disrupts workflow, especially as the municipality left them with no other alternative.
"We received the circular on July 1, and were given only four days to clear the space. I had already ordered 200 containers, but there is no space to accommodate them." He added, "This causes loss to us and to the market."
Abdullah Karara, sales manager at Mehtab Vegetables and Fruits, said the municipality took away 20 parking spaces used on a daily basis without prior warning.
"I have about 200 vehicles to accommodate, but where will they go now?" asked Karara. He added that parking vehicles subject the company to costly fines.
"We request the municipality to give us another alternative," said Karara.
Meanwhile, Badaiwa said vendors were informed that renovation will take place, as it was based on their requests made in 2015.
"Whoever had about 15 parking spaces, now will have five, and this is due to the renovation that will benefit customers and vendors alike on the long term," said Badaiwa, noting that the municipality provided vendors with an alternative space at Al Warsan where their trucks and containers could be emptied.
He added that the new development plan for the market includes providing more than 300 extra parking spaces, air-conditioned halls, basement parking for customers, cycling paths and pathway for smart trolleys.
"It will be a whole new work system, and we request vendors to bear the changes for better results," said Badaiwa.
He added: "When in the past, the market closed at 12pm, today we have given them the opportunity to finish their unloading at night. We also gave an alternative yard in Al Warsan and that's what we can offer at the moment," said Badaiwa.
"We request people involved to be patient because the benefits of the changes coming will be reflected on the long term."