Once a weekend market, Souq Al Jumaa in Fujairah is now open all days and has become a major tourist attraction with its heritage as well as fresh products.
Fujairah figures prominently on the U.A.E.'s tourism map, thanks to its pristine landscapes and beautiful scenery. The emirate has many landmarks which serve as a magnet attracting tourists and gives it fame not only in the region but in the world as a whole. These include the traditional Souq Al Jumaa, Arabic for the Friday Market.
It is an open market and lies amid mountains and valleys. Various stalls and shops line either side of the road that links the city of Masafi and Al Dhaid. The souq becomes especially crowded on Fridays and other holidays.
Located 33 miles off Fujairah city, Souq Al Jumaa is famous for its locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables for both serious buyers and window shoppers. Colourful carpets and rugs, traditional products, pottery, artefacts and handicrafts, and household appliances, honey, Arabic ghee, dates, and popcorn are the other attractions.
Well-maintained nurseries with exotic flowers and plants add to the beauty of the market. Flower vases and other plant accessories are also available here. And, do not go by the size of the market; the small-sized nurseries house a unique collection of seedlings of ornamental plants, flowering and aromatic plants and fruit bearing trees.
According to Saif Rashid, a shopkeeper, Souq Al Jumaa has gone through many phases until it was finally completed. It started 25 years ago when a man used to come from Dibba, Fujairah, every Friday to sell the agricultural products of the farms in Fujairah areas.
As time went by, the number of hawkers and salesmen increased. And they were mostly elderly Emiratis who showcase their products under the shade of the Samar trees.
The souq remained unchanged until His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, issued ordered the Fujairah Municipality to look after and develop the place. Citizens were granted shops where good quality and miscellaneous products were sold. The souq continued to grow and became popular and is now open on all days of the week, not just Fridays and official holidays.
"What distinguished Souq Al Jumaa from other bazaars is its strategic location amid a range of mountains which connect Masafi and Al Dhaid ,” said Salem Rashid Al Zahmi, a shopper. Therefore, he said, it is a focus of attraction for tourists who thronged the place to enjoy watching the stunning views of the mountains and the products showcased in the market, which reflect a living picture and testimony of the U.A.E. heritage and domestic products.
He said Souq Al Jumaa has become a landmark for the visitors of the emirate and the city of Masafi. The market becomes busy and overcrowded on weekends, especially in winter time. Yousouf Ali, another shopper, said what makes the souq different is its open door shops amidst the beautiful nature. It is like the old markets which use canopies to protect their goods from rain, sun and humidity.
Source: Khaleej Times