Goodbye Deira Fish Market, hello Waterfront Market – could this be Dubai’s new foodie paradise?

After almost 60 years of existence, the iconic Deira Fish Market closed its doors this week. The good news is that it’s been replaced by the brand new Waterfront Market near Hamriya Port.

The state-of-the-art facility, located on Al Khaleej Road, is spread over more than 100,000 square metres, and sells fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and meat (find a map locating the market’s exact spot here).

The market will also eventually be home to restaurants, cafes, shops and a hypermarket.

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It is said the new market “represents a fusion of traditional Emirati souq and the multicultural spirit of the city in a modern purpose-built facility”, which is expected to serve as many as 500,000 visitors a month.

While the Deira Fish Market will always hold a sentimental place in the city’s heart, the new market is said to be a neater, cleaner food environment, with air-conditioning, odour control, covered parking facilities and stricter hygiene regulations.

Fish vendors from the old market have already shifted to the new location, while produce and meat traders have until the end of Ramadan to relocate.

The shift of the Deira Fish Market comes at a time when other world cities are contemplating the future of their charmingly rustic food markets, which are often major tourist attractions.

The legendary Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan is expected to relocate sometime this year, while Hong Kong’s wet markets are increasingly being replaced by more modern facilities.

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Photos: Waterfront Market/Facebook