ABU DHABI // New parks are being opened across the capital and Dubai as part of Plantation Week festivities.
Fifteen parks are to be built in Abu Dhabi over the next year, with 10 to open this week alone in Dubai and one in Sharjah.
The new parks will be based in developing areas, including several earmarked for the rapidly growing Mohammed bin Zayed city, as well as green spaces planned for the residential area of Al Shahama and Khalifa City B, said Abdulla Al Shamsi, executive director of strategic planning and performance development at Abu Dhabi Municipality.
And in Dubai, Al Warqa 2 park was inaugurated by Hilal Saeed Al Marri, the director general of the city’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, yesterday, following a similar park opening in Al Hubab.
Mr Al Shamsi was speaking in Abu Dhabi yesterday as crowds gathered at the capital’s Formal Park, opposite the Corniche beach, for the 33rd Plantation Week, which encourages communities to plant trees and help sustain greenery.
He said the new parks in Abu Dhabi would have child play areas and shaded seating, while trees that consume less water will be planted. In addition to the new parks, trees, plants and street landscaping will also be enhanced this year, he added.
“We have very fast growth in the number of trees and the number of green areas,” he said, adding that the capital now has about 25 square metres per capita of green and open space, more than double the international standard of nine square metres set by the World Health Organisation.
“It is important to have a mixture of hard landscape and soft landscape to keep that city feel,” he said.
“As our population expands, it’s important to increase the green and open spaces that enhance this rapidly growing region.”
Mr Al Shamsi said it was vital that Abu Dhabi attracts tourists and residents alike with vast lush, green spaces.
At the capital Plantation Week ceremony, schoolchildren put on a production telling of the importance of planting trees while young dancers delivered a spectacular show to cheering onlookers.
Khalifa Al Mazroui, general manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality, launched the event, themed “Together we plant the UAE”, by cutting the memorial ribbon before taking part in a ceremonial planting of a palm tree sapling assisted by young helpers.
Addressing the audience, he spoke about developing a greener, more sustainable society. “Planting trees and developing greenery in the surroundings have been a continuous task of the government for the past 33 years,” he said.
Plantation Week continues today and culminates tomorrow. In both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the week is an attempt to create awareness among the public – especially children – about the importance of conserving and enhancing greenery.
Visitors to Formal Park in Abu Dhabi can enjoy a host of activities from 9am to 9pm, including a dance act by schoolchildren, juggling, clowns, face painting, drawings and much more.
Elsewhere in the UAE, Sharjah opened Moafjh Park, on the outskirts of the city.