x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Community centre plan for regions

A plan to build community centres around Al Gharbia and Al Ain is being developed by municipal leaders in both regions.

A plan to build community centres around Al Gharbia and Al Ain is being developed by municipal leaders in both regions. The plans include public libraries, entertainment, leisure and sports facilities. "The centres are currently in the design phase, but each community will have one eventually," said Humaid al Mansoori, general manager of the Western Region Municipality. "The project will hopefully be tendered before the end of the year."

A proposal for the first community centres in Al Ain is also being finalised. Mohammed Saeed al Neyadi, Al Ain Municipality's executive director of strategic planning, said he hoped the design for the first such facility would be unveiled by next year's Cityscape exhibition. "The idea is to provide all kinds of services to the distant areas such as Al Maqam and Al Hayer." Government officials in Al Gharbia are stepping up efforts to "enhance" the quality of life for residents of the region.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, recently appointed the Ruler's Representative in Al Gharbia, clearly identified this as a priority area, said Mr al Mansoori. "When he met local people in his majlis, he promised a prosperous future and said that he wanted to make sure that everyone will be happy," he said. The role of the Ruler's Representative is to help supervise and steer the vision for development in Al Gharbia, formerly known as the Western Region, which accounts for 80 per cent of Abu Dhabi emirate, but with only eight per cent of its population.

There is currently just one public library in the vast region, on Delma Island, off the Abu Dhabi coast, according to Mr al Mansoori. It is still too soon to say when the community centre project is expected to be completed, he said. zconstantine@thenational.ae mkwong@thenational.ae