Souq rises from ashes

The Naif Souq was destroyed in a blaze in April. (MAITHEM AL ANBARI)

The Naif Souq will rise from the ashes by the end of the month as work on building temporary shops to replace the fire-ravaged originals is almost complete, Dubai Municipality has said.

The buildings will be ready by mid-June and traders will be given a week to move into the new premises, said Juma Khalifa Al Fuqaei, dDirector of the General Maintenance Department.

The temporary market is 500m away from the original in Deira which was gutted in a blaze in April. A new permanent market is to be built.

"The materials used in constructing the new souq are fire-proof and they could easily be reused to construct similar facilities once the temporary market is dismantled," added Al Fuqaei.

"There are some 200 shops in the temporary market – the same number as in the original market. They meet all safety and security requirements and include all amenities previously provided to shop-owners.

"The shop owners need not pay any additional rents until the new Naif Souq is ready in eight months' time."

Naif Souq was one of the oldest traditional markets in Dubai and was named to the nearby ancient Naif Fort. The 60,000 sq ft market was popularly referred to in Arabic as Souq Sanadiq because of the box-type shops there before they were renovated in the 1980s.