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Friday , September 20 2019

Raise in rents spells doom for ‘Mubarakiya’ as historical icon

Shop-owners unhappy with new investor

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 5: Al-Mubarakiya Market crisis has returned to the forefront again with the imposition of rent hike ranging from 100-300 percent by the new investor and acquisition levy of around KD1,300-KD5,000.

Souk Al-Mubarakiya in the evening (Hassan Jaloul – KUNA).

This issue had earlier instigated crisis in the ancient market and temporary solution was proffered by postponing rent increment until the recent development set in.

With the new imposition of high rent, the market is doomed as historical and heritage landmark of the country, which has always been the foremost attraction for citizens, expatriates and tourists. In this context, several tenants of the shops, restaurants and café joints in the market have expressed disappointment over the rent increment imposed by the company and high cost of acquisition levy during eviction.

They regarded the action as a method of killing the market. They declared that Al-Mubarakiya Market is gone forever if the investor company is given free hand to determine its fate with the raise in rents, especially the market has not been doing well in terms of sales except during festivals and special occasions.

According to Abu Ali, owner of a games shop, management of the market raised the rents in varying percentages. He explained that he used to pay KD 400 per month before reaching 100 percent raise with KD 800 and imposition of new acquisition levy of KD 1,300. He reiterated that restaurants were mandated to pay KD 5,000 acquisition levy, which is 300 percent increase. Whoever used to pay KD 1,000 now has to pay KD 3,000.

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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