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Municipality gives Jeddah mall two weeks to remove billboards
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 05 - 2014


Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette?

JEDDAH – Municipal authorities in Jeddah have allowed a shopping mall, which was closed down earlier this week for displaying advertisements on its outer walls, to reopen after giving its owners two weeks to remove the illegal billboards, the municipality said in a statement on Thursday.
Muhammad Al-Bouqami, spokesman for Jeddah Municipality, said administrators at Al-Salam Mall in the Sulaimaniyah neighborhood of the city has promised to remove the billboards within two weeks.
“This period has been given to the mall considering the difficulties in removing the advertisements,” he said.
The spokesman said necessary action would be taken against the mall's owners if they did not act within the specified period.
The municipality closed entrances to the mall with heavy cement bocks on Monday. However, Saudi Gazette discovered that business went on normally inside the mall on Tuesday even though its main gates were blocked. People visiting the mall were seen using a back gate reserved for unloading products.
Earlier, the manager of the mall, Wissam Al-Hazmi, told Saudi Gazette that they had contacted the municipality to reach an agreement but were told to remove the billboards first. “We have two screens, each costing SR1.5 million. We tried to reach an agreement with the municipality, but they refused. Now we are left with no option but to remove them and that will take some time.”
Al-Hazmi said the mall has over 450 shops with 6,000 employees, 2,500 of them Saudis.
The municipality closed down entrances to the mall for displaying advertisements on its outer walls in violation of municipal regulations. "Such electronic billboards are allowed only in street corners," the spokesman said.


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