Mina Zayed demolition: souq back in business as rubble removal begins

Traders and customers return to historic port area after tower block was expertly torn down

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The souqs of Mina Zayed are back in business days after the demolition of Mina Plaza.

Photographs shot by The National show lines of cars back at the plant souq, with the rubble of the tower block in the background.

Business was also brisk at the shops selling camping supplies and outdoor furniture.

Mina Plaza was demolished on November 27 in a matter of seconds. The four-tower development started in 2007 but lay unfinished for many years.

The demolition now lays the groundwork for a major revamp of the historic Mina Zayed area.

Watch the Mina Plaza explosion

Watch the Mina Plaza explosion

Modon Properties, the company behind the demolition of Mina Plaza, is to transform Mina Zayed into a tourism, commercial and residential destination spread across three million square metres. About half of this will be redeveloped as a prime seafront area.

Work is already under way to replace the aging fish market with a modern complex under construction next door to the original.

"The structure is up," said Bill O'Regan, acting chief executive of Modon Properties.

"The next market most likely to move is the plant."

Mr O'Regan said residents and visitors should not be concerned that the vibrancy and heritage of Mina Is lost in the new developments.

“It is very important to us, and the leadership of Abu Dhabi, and the people to preserve it,” he said.

“This project is about the markets and the place, and not about the buildings that we are developing.”