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Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Fish prices increase by 140 percent

Published 2014-10-09 07:31:04
Eid celebrations in the Kingdom include visits to places of leisure, parks, malls and restaurants. All kinds of eateries do brisk business during the Eid holidays especially the ubiquitous fish restaurants serving a variety of freshly grilled marine food along the highways.
However, it is reported that these rest houses have upped the prices of their fish by a whopping 140 percent taking advantage of the rush of customers during Eid holidays and the lack of price control by the municipality and Ministry of Commerce.
Visitors to these rest houses during the Eid complained that they had purchased the Nagel variety of fish for SR170 per kg, while Aharid and Hamour were being sold at SR125 per kg, much higher than the market price.
Fish traders at these rest houses justified the spike saying that owing to the stable prices of fish in Jeddah, they were using the Haj and Eid holiday season to earn a profit on their sales.
However, the visitors urged authorities to conduct an inspection of these fish outlets and other restaurants saying that prices should not soar during Eid and other holidays. 
“It is unfair for fish outlets on the roadsides to charge such high prices for fish. They are taking advantage of the high demand owing to a large number of customers who visit Jeddah during Eid from other parts of the Kingdom also to make a profit on their earnings,” said Youness Nidam bin Abdaatt a regular visitor to the rest houses. He added that customers who arrived at these outlets after an hour’s journey to find such high prices of their favorite food felt very disappointed. 
Mohammed Hamad Al-Zahrani, another frequent visitor to these rest houses said that the fish prices in the market were stable but the fish outlets were increasing their prices arbitrarily owing to a lack of control by the authorities. 
“Prices of Nagel in the normal market are at SR70 per kilo, Aharid and Hamour are sold at SR30 while shrimps can be had from SR70-85 and lobsters are selling between SR65-100,” he said, adding that these prices were acceptable.
He said that the vendors were manipulating the prices and those customers who weren’t aware of the actual price of fish in the market were most vulnerable to being cheated. 
“This indicates a lack of control by the government,” he noted.
Mohammed Al Ahmed a fish dealer said that the fish prices in the market were stable but sometimes the restaurants and rest houses stored the fish during the less crowded seasons to take advantage of the rush in the Eid and Haj holidays.
Ahmed confirmed the lack of any controls on the price inflation in these restaurants making it easy for the vendors to manipulate the prices of the fish.
On the other hand, the high prices of fish in Jazan had brought back the investors to the market which is dominated by foreign workers while the owners are experts in determining the quality of the fish, he observed.

JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN

Published — Thursday 9 October 2014

More information: http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/641511

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