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Periodic markets and the trade system in Al-Baha province, Saudi Arabia

Periodic markets and the trade system in Al-Baha province, Saudi Arabia
Periodic markets and the trade system in Al-Baha province, Saudi Arabia

Al-Baha is the smallest of the fourteen provinces forming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but it is the second in population density at 25 pe sq.km. The southern region of Saudi Arabia contains the vast majority of the Kingdom's periodic markets, and they have played an important role in the economic and social life of the people. Although long-established, the periodic markets in Al-Baha have lost importance, and decreased in number over recent years. This was especially the result of the economic boom in the mid-1970s which led to an improvement in transportation and concentrated more trade in the larger markets, producing an increase in fixed trading through shops. Several aspects of periodic markets are dealt with in this study which is mainly based on information collected in the field during the summer of 1987 by means of questionnaire interviews. They include the origins of Al-Baha's periodic markets and their spatio-temporal patterning at different dates (1900, 1950, 1987), the characteristics of mobile and fixed traders, as well as the behaviour of visitors to the markets. The principal findings may be summarised as follows. Comparison of the region's pattern of periodic markets with those reported in the literature for other parts of the world suggest that tribal political factors were more important here than elsewhere in shaping the pattern, although the economic need to achieve an effective circulation of goods in the local area was also important. At present the size, level of activity and catchments of the region's thirteen markets vary widely, with the main ones retaining much of their leading role as trade centres in the region by increasing their catchments, attracting fixed shops and other services to them and maintaining a wide range of goods. In contrast, the smaller periodic markets face a much less certain future in the face of competition from other larger markets and new roadside shops. The thesis concludes with proposals to rationalise the pattern of markets down to seven and to make improvements to them so that they can continue to play a major role in the markting of goods in Al-Baha in the future.

University of Southampton
Al-Zahrani, Abdullah Salim Ghanem
Al-Zahrani, Abdullah Salim Ghanem

Al-Zahrani, Abdullah Salim Ghanem (1989) Periodic markets and the trade system in Al-Baha province, Saudi Arabia. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Al-Baha is the smallest of the fourteen provinces forming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but it is the second in population density at 25 pe sq.km. The southern region of Saudi Arabia contains the vast majority of the Kingdom's periodic markets, and they have played an important role in the economic and social life of the people. Although long-established, the periodic markets in Al-Baha have lost importance, and decreased in number over recent years. This was especially the result of the economic boom in the mid-1970s which led to an improvement in transportation and concentrated more trade in the larger markets, producing an increase in fixed trading through shops. Several aspects of periodic markets are dealt with in this study which is mainly based on information collected in the field during the summer of 1987 by means of questionnaire interviews. They include the origins of Al-Baha's periodic markets and their spatio-temporal patterning at different dates (1900, 1950, 1987), the characteristics of mobile and fixed traders, as well as the behaviour of visitors to the markets. The principal findings may be summarised as follows. Comparison of the region's pattern of periodic markets with those reported in the literature for other parts of the world suggest that tribal political factors were more important here than elsewhere in shaping the pattern, although the economic need to achieve an effective circulation of goods in the local area was also important. At present the size, level of activity and catchments of the region's thirteen markets vary widely, with the main ones retaining much of their leading role as trade centres in the region by increasing their catchments, attracting fixed shops and other services to them and maintaining a wide range of goods. In contrast, the smaller periodic markets face a much less certain future in the face of competition from other larger markets and new roadside shops. The thesis concludes with proposals to rationalise the pattern of markets down to seven and to make improvements to them so that they can continue to play a major role in the markting of goods in Al-Baha in the future.

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Published date: 1989

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 461599
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461599
PURE UUID: 5830d8f5-f573-40d2-8c1b-741b107013b2

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:50
Last modified: 04 Jul 2022 20:17

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Author: Abdullah Salim Ghanem Al-Zahrani

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