Renovation of the Bandabuliya (Old Market) - Retailers Area

What was the project about

Renovated Bandabuliya

The project aimed to upgrade the market facilities in order to generally improve health and safety conditions within the market and promote the local economy.


Along with the Selimiye mosque and the Bedestan, the old market (Bandabuliya) is one of the three landmarks of the Selimiye quarter and indeed, of the northern part of the walled city of Nicosia in general. The structure of the market has been rehabilitated with a focus on safety and hygiene standards and every effort has been made to retain its traditional historical features. The market, which has been in operation since the 1930s, before restoration, has lost its original importance but still attracts a considerable number of locals, visitors and tourists for shopping and sightseeing.

The old market is composed of two sections: one for wholesalers and one for retailers. The entire project started in 2004 when UNDP-PFF rehabilitated the old wholesalers section to be a recreational space with bars, a café and a restaurant. The rehabilitation of the retailers section started in 2010 and was completed in 2012. The objective of the project was to rehabilitate the building and provide a safe and hygienic environment for vendors, shoppers and visitors to enjoy this traditional venue.

What have we accomplished so far

paultry seller at bandabuliya

The renovation works covered a surface of 4,540 sqm, and encompassed the renovation of 77 stalls.

As result of the meeting with the beneficiaries and local technical department, as well as with the association for person with disabilities, the project had to take into account the main following technical aspects:

  • relocation of the marketers during the implementation of the works in order to create as little impact as possible on their business;
  • new layout of the market taking into account the current functions such as groceries, butchers, handicrafts shops, cafe and restaurants;
  • the structural status of the building - which was about to collapse;
  • the central islands in concrete were without foundations and the reinforced concrete was in a very precarious status;
  • seismic requirements for concrete structures;
  • the entire roof was rotten and near to collapse, and only 30% of the original tiles could be recuperated and reused for the renovation;
  • all infrastructures (such as electricity, water, telephone, sewerage, drainage, fire fighting system, etc.) have been provided, replaced and/or upgraded;
  • the façade of the stone building along the main corridor needed to be restored as per original appearance, original Greek signs to be madel visible above the shops doors; the internal parts needed to be upgraded with suitable materials such as terrazzo tiles, wooden mezzanine to accommodate the new functions. Wooden doors and windows had to be provided;
  • the external wooden parts of the building, such as windows and shutters, had to be replaced with the same design and dimensions depending on their conditions;
  • Grocery shops and butchers had to be upgraded taking into consideration modern hygiene standards;
  • Guarantee access to persons with disabilities
  • Technical facilities such as generator, toilets for persons with disabilities, first aid room, changing rooms, and storage rooms have been provided to the entire market.
  • Water facilities were provided to green grocers, delicatessens and butchers as well as cold rooms and refrigerators.

A market-managment study was conducted to ensure sustainability and administration.

Training the marketers:

38 amongst butchers, green grocers, restaurant owners and market food inspectors were trained on how to adhere and comply with European Union food hygiene standards. Attention was paid through several meetings with representatives of the local organization of persons with disabilities in order to ensure to the maximum extent possible accessibility to all market facilities to persons with disabilities.

On 20 June 2012, the market was re-opened at the presence of the Member of the European Commission Štefan Füle creating a momentum towards a long-lasting rehabilitation and re-integration of the market into Nicosia’s citizens’ daily-life.

Cultural Activities
for the revitalisation of Bandabuliya:

In August 2012 a call for proposals was launched to support cultural and community activities at Bandabuliya and bring the Bandabuliya back into the cultural, economic and social life of Nicosia and of its residents.
9 projects were selected and carried out between September and December 2012.
The programme of activities included: a monthly crafts market (every second Saturday of the month), daily handicrafts and embroideries workshops, olive oil soap laboratories, cooking competition, clay sculptures workshops, a science festival and art workshops for children, and different Bandabuliya media initiatives!The events had extensive media coverage and saw the participation of hundreds of people from both communities.


  • The market has today both an efficient organizational and structural set up;
  • Competencies and managerial responsibilities are clearer;
  • The market presents a safer and more hygienic environment for both vendors and customers.
  • The general quality of the shops is attractive, with appealing appearance and in line with modern European Union standards.

UNDP-PFF continues to provide support to the beneficiary and the marketers to improve their capacity to sustanably mantain the market.

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