A construction site in Abu Dhabi. Traders in the Central Market area complain that building work hinders trade and prevents customer access. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Businesses stores in the area surrounding the new Central Market are complaining that the ongoing construction in the vicinity has led to a decrease of over 20 per cent of their business due to road closings and other inconveniences.

To be completed in 2012, the construction of the market which is located near the intersection of Khalifa Street and Airport Road, has been a cause of revenue loss for stores and shops.

As a result, 30 official complaints and queries were sent to Aldar Properties PJSC, the development company responsible for the project, according to their spokesman.

Estimated loss

"I estimate that the loss of business in the area amounts to at least 25 per cent," an employee from Al Mazroui Exchange who requested anonymity, explained.

Regular road closings and detours have made it extremely difficult for customers to reach the stores. Foot traffic in the area has fallen significantly as people are discouraged from visiting the shops.

"We are located very close to the construction of the central market. We have been facing many problems because of the roads being closed down regularly [and] there are far fewer customers visiting us.

"They are unable to reach our store, and those who do have nowhere to park," the employee added.

Stores located as far as 200 metres from the market have not been exempt from problems, and continue to experience similar grievances.

"The access to our store has been blocked from one side. Cars have a very difficult time manoeuvring in the area, due to all the detours and blockings," a senior spokesman from the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, explained.

New market

"Business has definitely declined. I hope that the opening of the new market will actually draw more customers to the area, and encourage more people to visit us," he added.

Optimism that the future holds better prospects seems to be what many are hoping for, particularly stores that had been located in the old central market, prior to the renovation work.

"We had a branch in the old market before it was demolished…we have now leased a space in the Central Market that we expect to open when construction is completed," Najeeb Mukanna, Administration Manager at Al Shuaibi Jewelry, said.