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'Ministry of economy and commerce'

All photos courtesy of Al Meera

Grocery stores in Qatar have received fresh stocks of milk, yogurt, poultry and juice from Turkey this weekend.

Customers may notice the products getting prominent placement on the shelves, where Saudi Almarai products once stood.

Saudi along with Bahrain and the UAE cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar on Monday.

When the dispute erupted, residents were initially worried about food supplies and potential shortages, and some panic buying ensued.

But Qatar has been working with new suppliers to ensure the availability of food and other items.

And longtime ally Turkey is one of many nations that have volunteered to ship food to Doha.

Looking better

Speaking to local newspapers over the weekend, store managers said that the Turkish imports have helped replenish dwindling stock.

“The entire market scenario looks better,” a Family Food Centre rep told Gulf Times.

“We have all the products for the customers and our shelves never have been empty so far. Whatever dairy products we have got so far, is good enough for us to cater to our customers now.”

However, Turkish products may create a little bit of a challenge for non-native speakers.

To help those having trouble parsing the language, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has posted this handy breakdown:

Have you tried the new dairy products yet? Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Food outlets in Qatar should expect more inspections in the run-up to and during Ramadan, which kicks off next month, officials have said.

Speaking to the Peninsula, a government representative said the inspections will be done by the health ministry, as well the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

He continued:

“During the initial days of Ramadan, we will focus more on supermarkets and restaurants while during the middle of the month, we will focus on shops selling Garangao treats including nuts, dried fruits, chocolates and during the last phase of the month, we focus on abattoirs.”

The inspections are needed because employees tend to rush to meet demand and may “not give proper attention to the health standards and requirements,” he added.

Omar Chatriwala

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar, so the exact start of Ramadan won’t be announced until closer to the end of next month.

However, the first day of fasting is expected to be around Saturday, May 27.

And Eid Al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the month, is estimated to start on June 25, Al Jazeera reports.

Avoiding food poisoning

During the daylight hours in Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and other pleasures.

They then break their fasts at sundown, and continue this tradition daily for about a month.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Despite the focus on abstention, Ramadan tends to be a social time, as workplace hours are shortened by law for almost everyone.

Additionally, restaurants and cafes that are closed during the day stay open late at night.

To avoid food poisoning and stomach ailments such as indigestion, authorities recommend people do not overeat after breaking their fasts.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Speaking to the Peninsula, the government official also advised:

  • Avoiding shopping when hungry;
  • Frequenting busy instead of empty supermarkets;
  • Double-checking products’ expiration dates before buying; and
  • Not leaving food in the car for a long time.

Are you excited about Ramadan? Thoughts?

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s bustling fish market in Abu Hamour will close for good on Sunday, April 9, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced.

Vendors will be relocated to a new location in Umm Salal (about 25km northwest of Doha), and the first auction will begin on Sunday after sunset.

In a statement, the MEC said it chose that area because some 70 percent of fish sold at the current market is sourced from the northern part of the country.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Plans have been afoot to close the market for a while now, amid complaints that it is overcrowded and unsanitary.

Vendors were informed of the move back in December, and have been preparing to relocate since then.

Situated near Al Mazrouah Yard, the new market can accommodate some 50 vendors. It contains an air-conditioned auction yard and has plenty of parking, the MEC said.

There is also a cafeteria and shops that sell coffee, honey, nuts, spices, baked goods, plants and frozen poultry.

Traders ambivalent

According to the Peninsula, some vendors have expressed concerns that shifting the fish market from such a central location will cause business to drop.

Richard Messenger / Flickr

The fish market in Doha

“The new market is located away from Doha, so it is a matter of concern,” the newspaper quoted one merchant as saying. He added:

“The shifting will cause some temporary sluggishness in business. However, since the new facility is spacious, we hope it would attract more customers as there won’t be any crowding that we see at the Doha fish market.”

According to the MEC, other markets will be set up in Sailiya and Al Wakrah at a later time, due to the population growth in those areas and as a way to cover different areas of the country.

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Fishermen showing off their wares on the Corniche.

The Abu Hamour market will continue to sell fruits, vegetables and meat until these open.

In terms of central Doha, fish will still be sold on the Corniche and in supermarkets.

The Umm Salal fish market will open from 6am to 10pm, Saturdays to Thursdays; and from 6am to 10:30am on 3pm to 10pm on Fridays.

Thoughts?