Dammam market to be relocated

Sunday's devastating fire destroyed some 40 percent of the stores in Dammam's public market.

Sunday’s devastating fire destroyed some 40 percent of the stores in Dammam’s public market.

The Eastern Province Municipality will transfer Dammam’s public market outside the residential area in which it is located now after a fire gutted 40 percent of its shops earlier this week, according to municipality sources.

“The municipality will stop at nothing to ensure that random stalls and vendors are removed from local neighborhoods in a bid to ensure safety,” said Muhammed Al-Sufaian, public relations and media affairs director at the municipality.

“Though we have succeeded at keeping this phenomenon in check over the past year, we have had difficulty controlling this market due to the sheer size of the area and the huge number of violators that dodge police by moving around to different locations,” he said.

“It is important to relocate this market, a current hub for illegal expats that crowds streets and vexes citizens, nearby residents and shop owners alike.”

Sunday’s fire destroyed 27 out of the 67 shops, about 40 percent of the total number of stores in the area. The location will be cleaned up and the debris removed before shifting out.

Al-Sufaian said that the municipality had previously discussed the relocation with authorities and stressed the need for an early shifting.

Inspectors with central Dammam’s municipality work in two shifts and monitor activity at the second-hand furniture market to ensure they trade within the designated site.

Concrete walls surround the location. Inspectors give violators, whether expats or citizens, tickets and make them pledge to remove their illegal stalls.


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