ABU DHABI // From clean-living enthusiasts to the simply curious, the Masdar City market has proved a huge draw with families after it reopened to the public.
Visitors to The Market@Masdar City yesterday roamed the shaded plazas of Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral development, which houses the campus of the Masdar Institute and its student dormitories.
"I wish we had dorms like these," said Meryl Norman, an Abu Dhabi resident in her late fifties who was visiting with her husband Geoff.
"I have been driving around this place for three years and always wondered what it looked like," said Mr Norman. "I did not realise it was open until very recently."
The couple said they were interested in the stalls selling organic food and environmentally friendly clothes, household items and cosmetics but even more in the venue.
The experience would have been improved if more detailed maps and explanations were given to visitors, said Mrs Norman.
Sydel Lobo, 34, drove from Dubai with her husband and two daughters for the event. "There are lots of things for the kids to do," Mrs Lobo said, adding that it was good to have a family event at such an interesting location.
"It's progressive. Let us hope to see more of it around."
The stay-at-home mother also used the visit to buy some towels, car accessories and toys for her daughters.
Noura Mohammed, 33, bought some clothes, while her friend Mariam Abdulla shopped for home-made Italian cheese.
"It is a great initiative to promote organic and local products," said Ms Mohammed, a UAE national who works in media. "I wish there was an organic market that is permanently available to us."
While many people admitted the cost of organic products can be prohibitive, Farheen Shaikh, 29, goes out of her way to find them.
The homemaker buys organic baby food for her 11-month-old son, Mohammed.
"This is a good chance for me to try different products also," Ms Shaikh said.
The day's events also included live music and raffle draws, while entertainment for children included a "mad scientist" workshop, which taught them science, arts and crafts.
The Market@Masdar is to run every six weeks on Fridays between 10am and 5pm.