Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Shops will not be able to carry as much merchandise under the new storage requirements, says Hanif Paramel, an employee at Abu Backar Grocery in Al Ittihad in Abu Dhabi.
Fatima Al Marzooqi Photographer
Shops will not be able to carry as much merchandise under the new storage requirements, says Hanif Paramel, an employee at Abu Backar Grocery in Al Ittihad in Abu Dhabi.

Shopkeepers 'face ruin' as renovation deadline nears

Store owners say renovating their corner shops in 2012 may drive many out of business.

ABU DHABI // Facing a 2012 deadline to meet new government guidelines for renovating their shops, some grocery store owners in the capital foresee financial ruin.

Beeran Kattil said he could not afford the Dh120,000 to Dh150,000 it would cost to remake his Al Ittihad area store, Munim Grocery.

"No money," said Mr Kattil, 55, who has operated a grocery here for 20 years. When his licence expires, he will close his shop and go home to India, he said.

On Saturday, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) set a December 31, 2012, deadline for groceries in the capital to comply with new rules that will standardise the city's estimated 1,300 corner shops so they resemble petrol station minimarts, with less clutter, computerised tills, uniformed employees and safer food storage.

Owners will need three to eight weeks to implement the changes, officials say.

Businesses that do not make the changes will lose their licences when they come up for renewal, said Mohammed Jalal Al Reyaysa, the director of communication and community service for ADFCA.

The new shops will be more consumer-friendly, Mr Reyaysa said.

"As for the grocery owners, they stand to gain as well," he said in a statement. "Businesses will become more competitive and conform to international standards. Once the new system is implemented, it will result in more consumer satisfaction, which in turn will boost businesses."

Grocery shop owners and employees, however, said the changes would hit them in their pockets in three ways. First they must pay for renovations. Then they will lose revenue while their shops are closed for the work. Finally, revenue will decrease when they re-open, some predicted.

Shops will not be able to carry as much merchandise under the new storage requirements, said Hanif Paramel, 40, from India, an employee at Abu Backar Grocery in Al Ittihad.

Faisal, owner of a grocery near Muroor Road, said: "There won't be enough space for things to keep.

"The vision is good, but what they are saying ... they are not giving support."

At an estimated Dh4,500 per sq metre, renovation costs will hit more than Dh200,000 for his shop, he said. And the work will take several months.

"The customers, what will they do?" he asked.

In January, ADFCA plans to open an information centre to help shop owners comply with the new rules, Mr Al Reyaysa said. The agency also plans to create and distribute a renovation instruction manual by the end of the month.

However, Faisal said he felt caught between the rules and his budget. "They are seeing us as the enemy," he said. "They are not co-operating with us."

vnereim@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Fatema holds a picture of her son Nurul Karim as she poses for a photograph in front of her slum house in Savar. Fatema lost her son Nurul Karim and her daughter Arifa, who were working on the fifth floor of Rana Plaza when it collapsed on April 24, 2013. All photos Andrew Biraj / Reuters

These women know the real price of cheap high street fashion

Survivors of the world's worst garment factory accident, struggle to rebuild their lives from the rubble of the Rana Plaza collapse as Bangladesh prepares to mark the first anniversary of the disaster.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National