Muscat Municipality turns heat on expat vendors

March 17 – The Muscat Municipality has intensified its crackdown on expatriates selling food and vegetables in various parts of the city as they “affect the organised economy due to unfair competition”.

The municipality action is also because of health concerns (unhygienic waste disposal).

The municipality said in a statement that it was trying hard to regulate the work of street vendors through strict inspections at public places, residential neighborhoods, shops and factories.

It said the activities of unauthorised street vendors had increased in the Muscat area, especially in front of shops and places which are meeting points for a large number of citizens and residents of Muscat. The products generally sold are fruits, vegetables and fish.

The civic authority said most cases of food poisoning are due to poor storage practices and contaminated eatables.

The presence of street vendors has led to the gathering of a large number of people in certain places resulting in thefts.

As per law, no person may display or sell any goods or carry goods in a transport vehicle or set up kiosks on market corridors or public roads without obtaining a health card, the necessary authorisation from the municipality or other competent authorities. In the absence of such a licence or health card, the municipality shall immediately remove the illegal stalls and the violator shall pay the cost of removal.”