x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New market rises from the ashes of a favourite souq

The new Naif Souq, which is expected to house hundreds of traders, will be completed on schedule in May, the head of the municipality said yesterday.

About 200 shops at the old Naif souq were gutted in a fire caused by an electrical short circuit in 2008. A strong emphasis has been placed on safety at the new one.
About 200 shops at the old Naif souq were gutted in a fire caused by an electrical short circuit in 2008. A strong emphasis has been placed on safety at the new one.

DUBAI // The new Naif Souq, which is expected to house hundreds of traders, will be completed on schedule in May, the head of the municipality said yesterday. Hussain Lootah inspected construction work at the market yesterday. He said contractors, consultants and labourers had been working day and night to meet the deadline. The new bazaar is being constructed to replace the historic souq that was gutted in a massive blaze caused by an electrical short circuit in April 2008.

The new centrally air-conditioned souq will house 218 shops on its two floors. It will have toilets, parking, coffee shops, municipal offices, four entrances, 44 kiosks, two escalators and two lifts. Faced with huge losses from the fire that destroyed some 200 shops, traders succesfully appealed for compensation from the municipality, which managed the souq. Work on the new market started immediately after the fire.

During the construction the traders have been doing business from a temporary souq built 500 metres away from the original site. The shop owners have been exempted from paying any rent until the new souq is ready. Given how the original market was destroyed, a strong emphasis has been placed on fire safety at the new facility. @Email:pmenon@thenational.ae