According to officials at Dubai Municipality, the inauguration is a "soft opening", which precedes the actual inauguration of the new market in the coming months when it will be fully operational.
Meanwhile, the shops at the old market, which is to be demolished beginning next month, have been given a grace period for the shifting till July 15, and the civic body is confident that the entire old market would be vacated.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, a trader said that vehicles delivering fruit and vegetables are not being allowed to enter the old market to ensure that the shifting is done in time. Traders are, however, allowed to sell or shift (to Al Aweer) already stocked produce from their reefers. "Traders are a little concerned about how the first few days at the new market would be in terms of business. There has already been a slight hike in the prices of vegetables and fruits owing to this uncertainty," the trader said, adding that the overall picture, however, looked very good.
Abdul Rahman Al Sharid, Director of General Maintenance Department and head of the committee entrusted with the task of shifting the vegetable market from Al Hamriya to the new location in Al Aweer, said last week that there was tremendous support from all the parties involved in the process, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ports and Customs Authority, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Civil Defence, Emirates Postal Authority and Dubai Commercial Bank, and the market's retailers and wholesalers, who are represented by a committee comprising prominent traders.
The municipality has signed an agreement with a private company for providing cleaning services in the market, while another private firm has contracted provide security in the market area. A private clinic will offer its services inside the market.
Most of the shops have completed the shifting and decoration work as a preparation to start operation on the opening day itself. But few faithful still hang on to the Hamriya market to keep the trickle of sale coming in.
According to Abdulrahman Al Jaziri, Director of the Markets Department at the municipality, the labour accommodation at the new market is ready for occupation and the civic body was receiving applications for the same from traders.
The Dh153 million Central Vegetable Market at Al Warsan has a modern design and is equipped with the latest facilities. The market is designed to meet the requirements of the emirate's fruit and vegetable trade till 2012, the move being a part of the speedy development process taking place in Dubai.
The new market includes an administrative block and wholesale and retail markets - the wholesale market comprising seven blocks consisting a total of 284 outlets and the retail section comprising four blocks consisting of 150 outlets of vegetable, meat and fish.
Each shop in the wholesale market is provided with two parking lots for loading the goods on one side and two parking lots for unloading imported goods on the other side. Centralised refrigerators and warehouses have also been set up in this section. In the area specified for selling through trucks, there is a waiting area for the trucks to wait in queue before entering the direct trading zone. This section also includes a direct trading zone for buyers and retail traders.
In terms of amenities offered to the public and traders, there is a 100-room motel for truck drivers, a cafeteria, residential quarters for workers, a mosque, car services and fuelling stations, garbage collection areas, a police station, a civil defence unit, a post office, a bank, a supermarket, a pharmacy and restaurants apart from an administrative section. An external parking lot can accommodate 800 trucks.
The agreement is the first bilateral trade deal between the Gulf and South America