DOHA: Shops reserved for grocery stores, cafeterias, laundries, and barber and tailoring shops in the upcoming Al Furjan markets are in high demand. There is more demand for tailoring shops for women than those for men.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce says most allotment requests received until last evening were for the above shops.
Out of a total of 645 shops in 44 Al Furjan markets in the country’s remote areas, 59 are reserved for grocery stores and 43 for cafeterias.
Some 320 applications have been received for groceries, whereas 265 companies have applied for allotment of shops for cafeterias.
Some 41 outlets are for men’s salons and the applications received total 159, while 71 applications have been received for 17 ladies’ salons.
For 37 shops reserved for electrical goods like wiring and sanitaryware, the allotment requests total 276.
At least 159 applications have been made for 28 tailoring shops for women, whereas the number of applications for male tailoring outlets is 57 (for 29 shops).
There are few takers for outlets for bakeries (40) and meat shops (29) as the number of allotment requests so far has been lower than the number of shops available.
For 34 pharmacy slots, the allotment requests received until yesterday were 33. For 11 shops for footwear and clothing, allotment requests total 159.
There are 40 shops each reserved for bakeries and retail sale of vegetables and fruits.
Some six slots are reserved for Qatar Post to open its outlets, and four each for Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar, but so far the Ministry has received just one allotment request from each of them.
The Ministry said that until 4pm yesterday it had received 2,337 applications for the 645 shops, adding that only 373 of them had provided bank guarantees of QR50,000 each.
According to the Ministry, applicants who haven’t provided a bank guarantee should do the same by May 25 or their request would be cancelled.
Meanwhile, people are complaining that the Ministry shouldn’t insist on a bank guarantee of such a big amount at this stage.
“They should ask for guarantee after the allotment, for the applicant’s money is stuck until the allotment is decided, and then returning the amount takes time in the case of unsuccessful applicants,” a citizen said.
“What’s the point in making so much money stuck for three to four months? If 3,000 people, for example, apply providing bank guarantees, the amount sucked up from the market would be QR150m, and it would just remain stuck.”
Another problem people are complaining of is that a company that doesn’t have commercial registration (CR) for a particular activity cannot apply for allotment of a shop in that category.
So people are rushing to the economy ministry to get those activities added to their commercial licence by paying a fee.
“What happens if the applicant is unsuccessful in getting the allotment? He has to cancel the licence,” said another national.
A better way is to decide the allotment and the CR can be obtained later, he said.
The citizen said although the ministry has extended evening hours for commercial registration, the crowding hasn’t eased. “There is too much of rush,” he said. THE PENINSULA