Relief as Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed shops allowed to remain open

Ambitious plans include new fish, vegetable, plant, wholesale and carpet souqs

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The shops and markets in Abu Dhabi's historic Mina Zayed area will stay open during the area's landmark redevelopment.

It will bring relief to traders in the historic area known for its colourful souqs, who were worried about the future of their businesses.

Abu Dhabi Media Office on Thursday said the shops will move only when construction is complete.

Major rejuvenation works will begin in the area on November 27 when the abandoned tower block, Mina Plaza, is demolished.

The area will be temporarily closed from 7pm on Thursday, November 26 to 4pm on Friday to facilitate the demolition.

Works are being undertaken by Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport and Modon Properties.

"I would like to take this opportunity to reassure retail and business owners in all the markets that fall within the redevelopment areas of the project that their shops will not be closed," said Ahmed Al Zaabi, director of delivery at Modon.

"Businesses will remain operational throughout the redevelopment process.

“The main objective of this redevelopment is to consolidate all the significant markets and souqs into one destination within the retail hub of Abu Dhabi. The strategic enhancements will focus on remaining true to the culture of the historic area ... to build community pride and maintain Mina Zayed’s decades-long legacy of importance in the capital.”

Prominent in the new development is a new seafood market beside the original one. New seasonal markets are also being built beside it.

Opened in 1972, Mina Zayed has served as the main port in Abu Dhabi for more than 40 years.

“We are very proud to embark upon this new milestone for the redevelopment of Mina Zayed," said Hamad Al Mutawa, executive director of operations affairs at the DMT. Following the successful demolition of Mina Plaza, scheduled to take place on Friday November 27, we look forward to advancing our plans in revitalising the historic area."

A date for the completion of the development has not been revealed.

Construction on the three-tower Mina Plaza block, meanwhile, began in 2007 but was halted several times.

Plans were being considered, however, for a wider regeneration of the area.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, approved these plans in 2018.

Now that vision is coming to life.