The Abu Dhabi Mina Zayed Port is going to be part of a refurbishment project where the port will be developed into a commercial, residential and tourism hub.
The Mina Zayed port area in Abu Dhabi has been a primary spot for varied small business traders to set up shop for years. There are also a number of seafood restaurants and even fish markets that have a dedicated customer base come in regularly. However, it has been announced that as of 27th November, this area will be demolished to make way for a more bustling and urban narrative.
The new project in the works is said to be about three million square meters and will include Souq’s and separate facilities for fish mongers, fruit and vegetable markets and so on. In short, the existing enterprises will not vanish but just have to shapeshift to a new space that will be more structured and architecturally defined. However, the concern has been that this would not be immediate and therefore most of the businesses will have to relocate in the meantime.
Ishaq Ibrahim of Abu Amer Furnishings, a furniture shop that has been in the locality for years said “We sell home appliances and furniture. If we stay here it is much better for us,” said the 46-year-old from Iran. This market is well known for such things. A year ago the government told us we have to close, but we don’t know when exactly. Mr. Ibrahim has already made plans to relocate his business. We have already prepared a new shop in Khalifa City A. It is almost ready and we will open it soon,”
He also said, “The new premises is not as spacious as in Mina Zayed, he said, and he is not sure if they will receive as much traffic there. Our shop here is well known, we have many regular customers and new ones too, especially during this season when people start buying outdoor furniture.”
These small scale vendors who deal in goods like barbeque equipment, pots and pans, pillows, furniture, fruits and vegetables do not make enough to meet city rents which is only an element of the costs they will incur on top of parking spaces, permits and other monetary requirement.
While some owners are excited to see how the space will change, some or worried about being able to sustain or find new premises. This measure to refurbish the area has been informed as early as last year to the business but it does not make the situation easy for them, nonetheless.