Dubai Municipality on Tuesday said it has extended its Souq Al Freej initiative at Al Warqa 3 Park until January 15. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai’s neighbourhood pop-up market initiative Souq Al Freej that showcases homemade products has become a big hit.

Dubai Municipality on Tuesday said it has extended its Souq Al Freej initiative at Al Warqa 3 Park until January 15 in response to the tremendous turnout of over 74,500 visitors since its commencement on December 18, 2022.

The initiative is aimed at supporting and encouraging small-to-medium enterprises, by providing an ideal platform to promote their goods as well as offering free stands for entrepreneurs to exhibit their homemade products.

The first phase of the Souq Al Freej initiative was organised from December 18 to 27, 2022, at Al Barsha Pond Park, and witnessed over 58,500 visitors. The second phase is being held at Al Warqa 3 Park and has attracted more than 16,000 visitors so far. The second phase was initially planned to conclude on January 10 but has been extended till January 15 after the overwhelming response from the visitors.

The Souq Al Freej initiative comes as part of the Municipality’s efforts to develop investment opportunities for Emirati business owners and provide them with all the necessary facilities to display and promote their goods. The Municipality said it further aims to improve the competitiveness, quality, and efficiency of their products offered to consumers as well as foster trust and confidence in homemade goods.

With seperate areas for entertainment, family gathering and refreshments, Souq Al Freej has brought in a festive atmosphere in the park.

How can you benefit?

“We are targeting neighbourhood parks to provide this platform for showcasing the products made by people living in the nearby communities,” Ahmed Al Zarooni, director of public parks and recreational facilities department at the municipality, told Gulf News

He said the municipality accepts applications through its website. “We have a huge number of applications. We are filtering them and choosing them based on certain criteria.”

While Emiratis living in the nearby communities are given priority, the official said expats in the area are also given opportunities to showcase and sell their products. Having a business permit or online trading license is an advantage. The homepreneurs are given the stalls free of cost to showcase and sell their products.

“We try to ensure that there is a wide variety of products from textiles to shoes and perfumes to even books in these stalls. We assure the quality of the products especially in the case of food products. It is a must to follow all the food safety requirements,” he added.

The municipality hopes to extend the initiative to other neighbourhood parks in the next winter season.