JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Saturday 15 December 2012
Last update 15 December 2012 1:22 am
Tenants of the Rehab market are shocked and worried after receiving a shutdown notice from the owner to vacate the premises in a month’s time. Rehab market on Amir Miteb Street is being shut down after 20 years of serving residents of the Azizia and Rehab district and surroundings, leaving customers surprised and worried.
Sami Ansari, owner of a toy shop, told Arab News that the owner of the market closed down the market, cut off electricity and gave them notice to vacate the premises.
“The market is closed down so the owner can renovate it or demolish it. It will be very difficult for us to find another suitable place for the shop in one month and to move our goods, which have been sold from here for the past 15 years. This location is frequented by many people from around the surrounding areas as it is accessible to them and especially convenient for women,” said Ansari. “We do not know where we will open our shop and how we will let our customers know where we are. Moreover that location may no longer be easy for our regular customers to visit,” added Ansari .
He further added that the owner voiced his desire to close down the market two years ago but that he continually renewed contracts after that.
“We thought maybe the owner changed his mind, but two weeks ago he came and shut down the market and gave us notice. One month is not enough for us or anyone to find another suitable site. They should give us at least three months to shift,” he said.
He also said that because of this unexpected situation, they put all their things on sale, down to the shelves.
Another shopkeeper, Mohammed Ali, said all the shops suffered because of this decision. There are shops for every type of product in this market, from grocery, stitching, toys and stationery to shoes, clothes, carpenters and all other household items.
“We have now been scattered as everyone searches for another place to rent individually,” said Ali.
Tanveer Ahmed, a resident near Rehab market who came for shopping, said it is bad news for the residents who have grown accustomed to finding all their needs in one location to no longer have such a facility.
“We always shop here as the market lies in close proximity to our home and had everything we needed. We have lost an important aspect of our life,” he added.