Brokers threaten Madinah date market

Updated 11 March 2014

Brokers threaten Madinah date market

Merchants at the central market in Madinah, who usually experience high demand for dates during the Umrah pilgrimage season, are suffering a lower turnout of customers thanks to the advent of market brokers.
“Market brokers encourage customers to buy dates directly from date producing farms and not through our stalls and stores,” said Ahmad Al-Saidi, a store owner. “Pilgrims from all walks of life used to rush to the market, but many have since been persuaded to visit date farms before coming our way.”
“These brokers approach hotels and pilgrim residences in an effort to promote visits to these farms. They even make agreements with hotel managers and the owners of furnished apartments to take pilgrims on a tour of these farms,” he said. “The dates they see there are actually frozen and not fresh off the land.”
Khaled Al-Mitairfi, another store owner at the central market, said that these brokers are mostly foreigners. “Some brokers offer truck drivers commission to bring pilgrims to the farms,” Al-Mitairfi said.
Store owners have warned that some stores might be forced to shut down because of these brokers. “There is a lack of control on these farms. Illegal expatriates work in this sector without proper licensing,” he said. “Not only do these brokers threaten market revenue, they also pose a threat to customer health. Frozen dates are usually low quality because they are usually stored in refrigerators after being transferred from other farms.”
Stall owners have called on authorities to introduce measures to curb this phenomenon and put an end to their low profit margin ordeal.
Arab News toured the market, situated close to the Prophet’s Mosque, and found variations in the price of dates.
The price of Ajwah, a high quality date, ranges between SR45 and SR50 a kilogram. Anbarah, another high quality date, costs between SR40 and SR50 a kilogram. The Al-Safwi type costs around SR15 per kilogram. Umrah pilgrims also prefer Al-Siqi, which costs SR15 per kilogram.
“Pakistanis, Indonesians, Egyptians and Gulf residents buy their dates from the central market,” one store owner said.


First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

Updated 18 August 2019

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

  • Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries

Saudi Minister of Transport and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Dr. Nabeel Al-Amoudi, oversaw the departure of the first 

group of pilgrims under the Eyab initiative on Saturday together with GACA President Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.

Eyab seeks to improve services provided to pilgrims, with the authority aiming to enrich pilgrims’ experience at the Kingdom’s airports. It is expected to benefit 30,000 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries, inspected the services available and received a briefing from the initiative’s officials.

GACA started an experimental implementation of Eyab this year, aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport.