MUSCAT, Nov 4 – The Mawaleh Central Market, one of Asia’s largest fruit and vegetable markets, has completed 20 years. Recalling the old days, Musallam al Araimi, Director of Central Market, there was little hope that the market, which began with a handful of traders, would become popular as it was far from the most inhabited places. “Today, the market feeds the entire population with both locally produced crops as well as imported fruits and vegetables from across the world,” said Al Araimi. The 20th anniversary celebrations were held amid talks of shifting the wholesale market as it cannot be expanded further.
Hundreds of traders and other small vendors gathered with officials from Muscat Municipality which oversees the operations, on the occasion. Since the market has seen a massive growth in the last two decades, it was felt the wholesale section needs to be bifurcated to make shopping an enjoyable experience for customers. Plans are afoot to build a new wholesale fruit and vegetable market to be spread across 100,000 sqm in Al Filaij in Barka.
“We thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos for his foresightedness and the Oman government, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for the support extended at the Mawaleh Central Market that has helped the nation achieve self-sufficiency to a great extent,” said Zahir Said Zahran al Harrasi, Chairman, Suhol Al Fayha (SAF), a leading wholesaler at the market.
Today the market deals with hundreds of tonnes of fruits and vegetables every day to meet the demands of retailers and wholesalers.
“We are grateful to the Muscat Municipality and Oman Customs and health departments for a seamless supply chain that has helped the vendors,” said Abdul Vahid, Managing Director, SAF, and Abdul Jabbar, Managing Director, KC Center.