Some remote areas where Al Furjan Markets have come up are yet to have basic infrastructure and enough residents to ensure even minimal business for the shops.
The government has built Al Furjan Markets in some 44 remote areas across the country to make sure that the people living in those areas have access to basic needs.
In such localities, the tenants of Al Furjan Markets want the government to postpone taking from them rent for a year or at least until the areas have enough infrastructure and people.
In one locality at least, by the name of Al Thameed, which is north of Bani Hajar on the outskirts of Doha, Al Furjan Market is ready, but there are hardly any people and the needed infrastructure.
The roads are still being built here and work on a number of houses can still be seen in progress.
Al Furjan Market in the locality can only be accessed through a four-wheeler since the road is still under construction.
However, some nationals who had been lucky winners of allotment of shops in the market say that the Ministry of Economy and Commerce should charge rents from July instead of from May.
The ministry has awarded the contract of managing Al Furjan Markets and collecting shop rents to Waseef, a subsidiary of state-backed Barwa Real Estate Company and to Ezdan.
Al Furjan Market in Al Thameed, according to Al Sharq, is managed by Waseef.
The company has sent messages to tenants here to pay rents from May 1 instead of July.
The daily quoted some tenants as saying that they had initially been asked to pay rent from July but now Waseef had asked them to come and sign the contract effective from February 1 and that after a grace period of three months, they must begin paying the monthly rent from May 1.
There are 645 shops in the 44 Al Furjan Markets and the rent of each shop is QR6,000 ($1,647.6) a month.
The tenants, obviously all nationals, told the daily that it was unjustifiable to pay the rent when the area remained undeveloped and with little or no population to guarantee their shops even minimal business.
They said they had written to the ministry urging it to postpone collecting shop rents for a year (and for further periods, if necessary), but in vain since they hadn’t so far received any response.
“Instead, ironically, we have been asked to pay rent from May instead of July,” the tenants said.
The ministry or Waseef couldn’t be immediately contacted for comment.
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