Central Market
Zanzibar, Tanzania
The Central Market area in Zanzibar consists of three market buildings: the Sayyidieh Market and Estella Market buildings along the western side of Creek Road, and the Darajani Chawl located across a bazaar street to the east of Estella Market.

The Sayyidieh Market building is the largest of the Central Market structures. It was designed in an eclectic style by the British architect J.H. Sinclair and inaugurated in August 1904. The tin-roofed building has a tall central entrance flanked by two lower halls, divided into a series of stalls.  A colonnade along the front of the building is used as vending space by vegetable sellers, along with a large enclosure behind the main building. The original poultry market was a separate structure of a similar style built at the same time, and is today converted into a store selling hardware and agricultural implements.

The Estella Market building is located north of Sayyidieh and was built in the early 1900s. It was originally two large structures in which fruit and vegetables were sold. The smaller of the two structures survives today, used as a poultry market and slaughter area.  It is an open hall with cast iron columns and a tile roof. The larger of the two structures was demolished in the 1970s, and the resulting open space is now used as an area to auction fruits and vegetables and to house a series of concrete block structures with eating places for market workers.

Darajani Chawl is located to the east of the Estella Market. It was built in the 1880s by Sultan Sayyid Barghash, and is a 110-meters long three-story building, with shops at the ground level and tenements above. It was designed to face Stone Town, with its rear to the creek and the Ng'ambo area, and its rear elevation is now fully visible along the western side of Creek Road.


Bianca, Stefano & Francesco Siravo. Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town, 163-165. Geneva: The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 1996.

Zanzibar, Tanzania
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Associated Names
Sayyideh Market building 1904
Estella Market early 1900s
Variant Names
Marikiti Kuu
Building Usages