May 13, 2021

Residents welcome new public parks and play areas


Residents across the Abu Dhabi have welcomed an ongoing drive to create more public spaces, parks and recreational areas around the city, saying these would contribute to a higher standard of living and public health.

The initiative was announced by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City on October 24. The new play areas are part of its Dh798 million investment in developing the city’s infrastructure.

“Abu Dhabi really needs more play areas for children, and spaces where activities can be organised for both children and adults. Right now, the only place to go when people want to spend time outside the house is a mall,” Ahmad Saleh, a real estate agent in the capital, told Gulf News.

“In addition, many of the parks are not well equipped, so residents often have to drive some distance to get to a proper play site. The new facilities will therefore be a welcome addition to the urban landscape,” the father-of-two added.

The municipality has commissioned a study of open spaces within Abu Dhabi city’s residential districts. Later, the available spaces will be redeveloped as children’s playgrounds, seating areas and public plazas. In addition, the authority will work to set up safe pavements, green spaces and shaded walkways for the benefit of pedestrians.

Musabbah Al Murar, the municipality’s acting general manager, said 28 locations spanning 25,000 square metres have been selected for playgrounds, and swings, slides, monkey bars and sandboxes will also be put up in 56 other sites. The spaces will be designed in accordance with the guidelines set by the Urban Planning Council.

The capital currently has nearly 50 public parks, and more than 30 playgrounds. As reported by Gulf News earlier, a 2013 study by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) had, however, estimated that 130 more parks needed to be constructed by 2018 to serve residents’ needs.

One of the neighbourhoods marked for development is the block encircled by Fatima Bint Mubarak Street, Shaikh Zayed Street, Al Falah Street and Hazza Bin Zayed the First Street. The area consists mostly of villas, as well as a few schools and prominent hospitals. The municipality announced that it will soon set up four playgrounds, as well as vending machines, rest areas and play sites. Landscaping works will also be undertaken over 24,000 square metres.

Another locality that will be developed is the East Sector 25, bounded by Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street and Shaikh Zayed Street, Dalma Street and Al Nahyan area. As one of the capital’s newest residential neighbourhoods, it consists of numerous residential towers, restaurants and hotel apartments, but still lacks sufficient recreational facilities. To resolve this, the municipality will construct a mosque, children’s walkways, playgrounds, shaded seating areas, a barbecue spot and vending machines over 14,000 square metres.

“I believe such a move will make our hotel apartment even more appealing to guests. Even now, many of the people who stay with us look for open areas to jog or to take their children,” said Lila, executive assistant at one of the hotel apartments in the area.

The 72,400-square-metre Khalidiya Public Park, and 90,000-square-metre Al Zaafaranah Park, will also be revamped with new jogging and cycling tracks, eco-friendly lighting, seating spaces and new equipment for children’s play.

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