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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Confirmed: Mobile phone market Souq Najada will close by April 1

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Souq Najada, the shopping plaza opposite Souq Waqif and oft referred to as the “mobile phone souq” will be closing in the coming weeks, local media reports.

Speculation has been rife for many months that the 12-year-old market would be shut down. 

Today both the Gulf Times and the Peninsula report that the scores of shopkeepers there have been informed that they need to vacate before electricity and water supplies are shut off on April 1. 

The Qatari government acquired the property recently for “the public interest” but only clarified it intended to shut down the facility in a notice dated February 28. It has yet to announce what it will do after Souq Najada is closed.

Shopkeepers meanwhile, are appealing to the Municipality of Urban Planning for an extension of the deadline, arguing that they will suffer huge losses and underscoring a lack of alternative locations with high foot traffic and low rents. 

The Al Sharq newspaper quote Yusuf Al Zaman, a prominent lawyer, as saying that the rapid closure could be deemed illegal:

“They need more time to vacate or they will be facing huge losses… there is no justification for such haste.”

What do you think? Do you ever visit Souq Najada, will it be missed?

Credit: Photo of Souq Najada by Rhandy Pelaez

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