After a barrage of complaints from diners on the high cost of food, the long line of restaurants and coffee shops at the famous Souq Waqif will start offering food at cheaper prices as Ramadan nears, say the souq management.
Mohammad Al Salem, Souq Waqif Director, said many visitors complaining about the inflated prices of food and beverages have prompted the Souq’s management to exert control over these restaurants and coffee shops.
“We have met with restaurant owners and we told them about the complaints which the management has been receiving about the high prices and we asked them to put list of reduced prices inside the restaurants,” said Salem.
The new price lists will bear a stamp showing they have been approved by the Souq’s management so the restaurants cannot cheat on the prices, he said.
In coming up with the new prices, he said both the restaurants and the customers have been put into consideration to ensure both of them will benefit. For example, in some coffee shops some visitors reserve tables to smoke shisha and drink juices for three hours, so paying QR50 or QR100 is considered a loss for the coffee shop.
Price control prices will also apply to shops selling sweets, nuts and spices and other stalls offering products which are all in demand during Ramadan to avoid taking advantage of high demand for these products during this season.
He said there are a total of 1,250 shops in Souq Waqif that are subjected under strict monitoring to ensure compliance with the required prices and conditions. In addition they are also closely coordinating with the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning to guarantee cleanliness and high quality of services in the restaurants and shops.
With more people expected to visit the Souq next month, the management is also coordinating with the police to facilitate smooth flow of traffic to make it comfortable for visitors. Al Rayyan Radio, which is based in Souq Waqif will be organising programmes during the season. The management will soon be putting up information booths to guide tourists and give them complete information about heritage, craft and everything available in Souq Waqif.
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