In its drive to build a sustainable and environmentally friendly green economy, Dubai is set to open two brand new market locations for used building materials, electrical appliances, furniture and kitchenware soon.
The second hand building materials and electrical appliances market located in Warsan is housed in a building that has 71 shops and 80 parking spots for trucks while the kitchen utensils and furniture market of 120 shops is located in Nad Al Sheba. The two markets were built at a combined cost of Dh177 million (USD $48.19 million). The markets also feature fast food areas, prayer areas for women and men as well as Admin offices.
Both second hand markets are the brainchild of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The market project was established primarily to preserve the resources of the emirates as well as promote a green economy in accordance with Dubai’s match towards being one of the world’s finest cities.
With these two new market locations, authorities in Dubai hope that all used building materials and electrical appliances will henceforth be housed in one location while the household utensils and furniture market will also be housed under one roof. Organizing the markets in specific locations was done so that buyers will quickly locate second hand merchandise. Previously, businesses in this sector were scattered throughout the city. Locating second hand shops was a challenge to local buyers. Companies that sought to re-export second hand material also found it difficult to quickly source all the items they needed as the sector was literally in chaos.
Aside from the fact that second hand items are used items, available data indicates that more and more people within the emirates are tilting towards the sector especially as individual and family disposable incomes get a pinch. This is as a result of a weaker economy especially as a result of falling oil prices. The second hand industry allows consumers to have their favorite but normally expensive items at prices far lower than the original prices.
“My family is happy to see the tags of big brands,” said one expat. “They don’t care if the items I buy here were used before, as long as they are in good shape.” For many shoppers, second hand products help them safe face as expectations are high even though the realities on the ground may be challenging.
The industry has cleverly coined a marketing phrase ‘second hand shopping is intelligent shopping.’ This is to help remove the stigma of buying used products. At a time when personal and family budgets are becoming too constrained, any catchy phrase is enough to help drive a lot of people to these markets in numbers that just few years ago would have been unimaginable.