Qatar’s bustling fish market in Abu Hamour will close for good on Sunday, April 9, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced.
Vendors will be relocated to a new location in Umm Salal (about 25km northwest of Doha), and the first auction will begin on Sunday after sunset.
In a statement, the MEC said it chose that area because some 70 percent of fish sold at the current market is sourced from the northern part of the country.
Plans have been afoot to close the market for a while now, amid complaints that it is overcrowded and unsanitary.
Vendors were informed of the move back in December, and have been preparing to relocate since then.
Situated near Al Mazrouah Yard, the new market can accommodate some 50 vendors. It contains an air-conditioned auction yard and has plenty of parking, the MEC said.
There is also a cafeteria and shops that sell coffee, honey, nuts, spices, baked goods, plants and frozen poultry.
According to the Peninsula, some vendors have expressed concerns that shifting the fish market from such a central location will cause business to drop.
“The new market is located away from Doha, so it is a matter of concern,” the newspaper quoted one merchant as saying. He added:
“The shifting will cause some temporary sluggishness in business. However, since the new facility is spacious, we hope it would attract more customers as there won’t be any crowding that we see at the Doha fish market.”
According to the MEC, other markets will be set up in Sailiya and Al Wakrah at a later time, due to the population growth in those areas and as a way to cover different areas of the country.
The Abu Hamour market will continue to sell fruits, vegetables and meat until these open.
In terms of central Doha, fish will still be sold on the Corniche and in supermarkets.
The Umm Salal fish market will open from 6am to 10pm, Saturdays to Thursdays; and from 6am to 10:30am on 3pm to 10pm on Fridays.