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‘Amman’s street vendors have until end of February to close up shop’

By Muath Freij - Jan 28,2014 - Last updated at Jan 28,2014

AMMAN — The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has given street vendors until the end of February to stop displaying their goods on the capital’s pavements, a GAM official said on Tuesday.

There are no “licensed street vendors”, according to Ahmad Ebbini, the director of GAM’s department to regulate street vendors.

“We receive many complaints from shopkeepers around the capital saying that the presence of these vendors has a negative impact on their business,” Ebbini told The Jordan Times over the phone.

GAM said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times that these vendors disrupt traffic and have negative effects on public health.

Ebbini noted that GAM has initiated a campaign against street stalls in several parts of the capital.

“Three days ago, we implemented a campaign in Wihdat and I can assure you that the area is now clean. On Wednesday, we will also organise field inspections in Jubeiha and the Sports City area,” he added.

Ebbini noted that the main destinations for these vendors are the capital’s suburbs, such as Bayader, Sweileh and Marka.

The GAM statement quoted Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji as saying that vendors in areas like Abdali, where many residents and tourists shop for second-hand clothes during the weekend, as well as Quraish and King Talal streets in downtown Amman will also have to close up shop.

Ebbini noted that some vendors own several street stalls and lease them out to others.

“These people pay rent for the location in addition to a percentage of their profits. Some vendors own around 50 stalls,” he added.

Despite the crackdown, some street vendors return after GAM inspectors leave, according to Ebbini, who said GAM teams do what they can to cover all parts of the capital.

“Sometimes they come back 30 minutes after we leave,” he added.

In September last year, the municipality removed street stalls in Bayader under a campaign that also targeted Marka, Sweileh, downtown Amman and Jabal Hussein, areas known to be popular with vendors.

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