SINGAPORE — A rental cap of S$15,000 per booth will be set during next year’s Geylang Serai Ramadan bazaar to make the event more affordable.
Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim announced this in a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 30).
The move comes following skyrocketing rentals for the annual event in recent years.
“We hear you. For Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai 2024, we are taking steps to ensure that it is more affordable for our sellers and consumers,” Associate Professor Faishal wrote.
He added that the cap will make items “more cost-effective”, benefiting consumers.
Tenders for the bazaar have opened. According to the government procurement site GeBiz, the tender for operators keen to run next year’s bazaar closes on Nov 23.
The last time a rental cap was imposed for the bazaar was in 2019, at S$14,000 per booth. This was also in response to high rentals.
In an interview with Berita Mediacorp on Sunday, Assoc Prof Faishal said that next year’s bazaar will be smaller in scale and with fewer stalls compared to previous years.
This is due to the ongoing rejuvenation works in the Geylang Serai area, which are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2024.
During this year’s bazaar — which ran from March 17 to April 21 and had about 800 stalls — vendors told TODAY that rental prices had risen sharply.
In some cases, the daily rates had doubled compared with pre-Covid years.
Rental prices for 2023’s bazaar reached as high as about S$25,000 per booth. This is up from 2022’s record of S$21,000, according to organiser Wisma Geylang Serai.
The tender for this year’s Geylang Serai bazaar was awarded to a consortium of three companies — TLK Events Management, Enniche Global Trading and S-Lite Events — at a value of S$2.26 million.
Companies that organise bazaars told TODAY that tender values — the amount they pay to the People’s Association to organise such fairs — add to the costs of running the event.
For instance, Orange Travel, the co-organiser for the 2019 bazaar, said in April that it was possible for the company to make profit even while complying with the rental limit at that time due to the relatively low tender value of under S$900,000.