The white market acquired its name from the white plaster that used to cover its walls and for the abundant of sunlight bathing its space. The market is comprised of a covered east-west street flanked on both sides by shops. The street is covered by a fan vault, consisted of pointed semi-cones nearly meeting at the apex of the vault. The side vaults are pierced with large open arches that allow plenty of natural light and streaming air directly into the covered street. Just below these open arches shops extend into the street and are accessed by large arched doorways. The shop units are covered with barrel vaults from within. While the north row of stores have only small square windows facing the exterior, the southern stores open to the city through wide arches like the arches that open into the interior space.
The market was first built by Dhahir al-Umar in the middle of the 18th century and became the main commercial center of Acre and its region up to the end of the Ottoman period. Dhahir's market was larger then the current structure (110 shops compare to 64 shops). In 1817, story has it, a spark of fire from a pipe smoked by workers of a shop belonging to 'Aslan the Jew', found its way into a gunpowder keg. An enormous explosion as a result of this reckless behavior killed and wounded ten people and severely damaged the entire market. In the same year Sulayman Pasha ordered the demolition and reconstruction of the market. In 1831-2 the market was damaged by the army of Ibrahim Pasha, yet it managed to maintain its importance. The magnitude of the White Market faded significantly after its walls were punctured during the British mandate to create a bypass to the city. Until that time there had been only one land entrance to the city.
Dichter, Bernhard. 2000. Akko-Sites from the Turkish Period. Haifa: University of Haifa,196-200.
Petersen, Andrew. 2001. A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Part 1.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 88-89.