Work set to start on $26.5m market in Bahrain
Manama, August 3, 2012
Work on a new BD10 million ($26.52 million) market featuring a mix of traditional facilities and a shopping mall with offices in Bahrain will get underway early next year, said a senior government official.
The market, which will replace the existing Jidhafs Central Market, will include 48 stalls and 50 shops, occupying an area of 1,800 sq m, and 138 shops and office space spread over 22,000 sq m, added Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi.
"This project is a new chapter in partnership between the ministry and the private sector, which will see the municipality get a 26 per cent share in the project with its ownership of the land of the current market and the adjacent landowners having 74 per cent as their share in line with their plot contribution," said Dr Al Ka'abi.
"This means that we will be responsible for providing our funding according to that share, while our partners will be obliged to fulfil their financial obligations for the remaining amount. I believe the idea of having landowners as partners is excellent, considering the current central market is in a bad state and is in need of immediate revamp.
"The deal is fair as everyone will be getting what they want - our partners will be allowed to open a mega shopping mall with offices without the need of going through lengthy municipal procedures and we will have a bigger market for merchants."
The project has suffered 10 years of delays after landowners of two plots adjacent to the existing market initially refused to sell them to the Northern Municipality.
Northern Municipal Council vice-chairman and area councillor Sayed Ahmed Al Alawi said the delays were likely to hinder the success of the project.
"Merchants were optimistic when it was first announced it was going ahead, now they don't seem to care and are going on with business as usual," he said. "When we see real work that's when we will know that it is serious - now we are not bothered.” – TradeArabia News Service