Fish sellers who have moved to the new market at Umm Slal from their earlier trading location at the Doha Central Market feel the dwindled participation of the traders in the auctions at the new place is expected to continue until things are set in the order.
Sources told Gulf Times that there has been a steep fall in the number of traders taking part in the initial days' auctions. "This is because most of the stall owners feel the big fall in the number of retailers and others visiting the new market would result in less demand for fish at the stalls," said a trader who added that a large section of their regular customers at Doha Central Market have now moved to the market in Wakrah for meeting their requirements.
This, he said, is because the new market in Umm Slal is a little far away from the densely populated areas like Doha, Rayyan, Muaither and Industrial Area.
Inquiries have found that owing to relatively lesser public patronage the stall owners are not too keen on keeping large stocks at the stalls at this stage. Apart from the stall owners, there were a number of others who also participated in the auctions as they also had many regular clients as workers' accommodations and other institutions, it is learnt. However, most of such suppliers have now shifted to Wakra market.
A stall owner said regular clients, mainly local households and expatriates, mainly Filipinos, patronised fish stalls at the Doha Central Market liberally. However most of such buyers are now keeping away from the new market, apparently because of the distance. The new market is more than 30km away from many locations in Doha.
The new situation has already resulted in a fall in the wholesale prices of most varieties of fishes other than King fish, sources said.
Speaking to Gulf Times, a fishing vessel operator said even his colleagues have reported poor business in the last few days since the movement of the market to Umm Slal. Though the formal opening took place only on Sunday, a number of stall owners had already set up their outlets and started off their businesses at the new location a week earlier.