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‘Now they look like … were in the past’
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 20: The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) has completed the restoration, renovation and furnishing of the heritage shops in the Dates Market and Clover Market in Mubarakiya such that they now look like they were in the past – old Kuwaiti architectural style, reports Al-Rai daily quoting Secretary General of NCCAL Kamel Al-Abd Al-Jalil.
After visiting Mubarakiya Heritage Market to inspect the new phase along with other NCCAL officials, Al-Jalil confirmed the completion of restoration and renovation works in 23 stores. He said these stores are now open and ready to engage in the old commercial activities licensed by Kuwait Municipality, which has done everything in its power to facilitate the completion of this task. He revealed the commercial activities are related to certain professions, crafts and heritage goods; in addition to the shops that sell popular meals, heritage clothes and some items found in the old Kuwaiti markets. He went on to say that 15 new stores will be auctioned soon and these stores will be engaged in activities according to the special conditions set by NCCAL.
He affirmed these stores will be available to all citizens, especially the small business owners among the Kuwaiti youths. He disclosed these stores evoke beautiful memories of Kuwait’s history in Mubarakiya Market. He said NCCAL has 75 stores in Mubarakiya Market distributed between the Dates Market and Jet Market; indicating these stores are fully operational except 15 stores which will be auctioned soon to use them as per the regulations of the council, Municipality and Ministry of Finance. He added the auction will be announced in the Official Gazette and official platforms of NCCAL.
He explained, “Our responsibility at NCCAL is to preserve the historical and heritage buildings. We have determination, passion and ability to restore many buildings to their original Kuwaiti specifications in order to preserve the architectural and heritage identity of the country.” He pointed out the structures in Mubarakiya Heritage Market are important as they are located in the heart of the capital, next to the Sheikh Mubarak Museum. He asserted all features of the place reflect the authentic identity of Kuwait and its significant aspect in the history of the nation.
“This is the duty of officials in the council, particularly the Antiquities, Museums and Engineering Affairs Sector,” he concluded. On the other hand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Antiquities and Museums Sector Dr Badr Al-Duwaish said the Dates Market is one of the historical landmarks in the country; taking into consideration its symbolism not only for Kuwait but also the visitors from other countries. He affirmed that NCCAL is keen on unifying the architectural pattern and general shape of the heritage shops, which carry a very important message in the hearts of everyone who visits Mubarakiya Market.