Architecture at its best. The magnificent market in Sharjah’s Al Jubail area is 10 times bigger than the existing one Image Credit: Arshad Ali/XPRESS

SHARJAH Shoppers and vendors alike can’t wait for Sharjah’s new fruit, vegetable and fish market to open. Touted as the country’s most beautiful marketplace, the construction of this palatial complex in Al Jubail is now almost complete and ready to welcome fish, meat, vegetables and fruit vendors in order to cope with Sharjah’s growing demand for fresh produce.

“The new market is 10 times bigger than the existing one. We can’t wait to get there as this new market will be able to accommodate more customers than we have right now,” Shahin Ahmed, a Bangladeshi fishmonger at the nearby market for over two decades, told XPRESS earlier this week. “It will be a big respite for all of us, especially in the summer when it is a real challenge to keep our produce fresh and free from flies and dust in the heat,” he added.

New experience

“It’s also arguably going to be the most beautiful marketplace in country. Made of domes and arches, it really looks like one grand building, unlike the busy marketplaces we otherwise go to,” said Sudanese Mohammad Ibrahim, a long-time resident of Sharjah’s Rolla district.

An official word on the exact start date of the new market may not be public yet, but those who frequent the place believe the new arcade - built primarily to replace the old fish market by the Creek - will finally open later this year.

“We had been hearing for long that it was originally scheduled to start in 2014, but by the looks of it, they are finally ready now. We are really looking forward because we feel it will be a whole new experience buying fish from this grand looking marketplace – just like it is back home in Europe,” said Olga, a Ukrainian who has been buying fish from the Al Jubail fish market for 15 years.

Previously accommodating around 44 shops only, the new market is set to include over 400 shops selling fish, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. According to a Sharjah Municipality official, once the construction is over completely, tender notices will be out inviting potential tenants for individual shops.

The building has been inspired by Islamic architecture that is characteristic of other important buildings in Sharjah.