x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Commuters welcome Dh267.5m plan to improve Western region motorway

The 80-kilometre road connecting Ghayathi and Madinat Zayed has few amenities for travellers.

Rashid Al Mazrouei hopes petrol stations will be among the developments on the motorway. Christopher Pike / The National
Rashid Al Mazrouei hopes petrol stations will be among the developments on the motorway. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // Ghayathi is famous for its fertile pastures and farms, a place where nomadic tribes gathered.

Like its neighbouring city of Sila, it is renowned as a centre of archaeological excavation, with fossils dating back 8 million years found in the eastern area of Bogar.

Many Emirati residents are hoping for upgrades such as street lights, petrol stations and fences along the road between Ghayathi and Madinat Zayed.

The 80-kilometre stretch connecting the cities has few amenities for travellers.

Rashid Al Mazrouei, who works with the Ministry of Interior and lives in Madinat Zayed, travels on the road every day.

“My work is there but I don’t find any services on the way to Ghayathi. But the road is good,” he said.

“We need Adnoc stations where services are available, like changing tyres, oil, wash and of course petrol.

“In an 80km range there is not a single station, so we fill in Madinat Zayed or Ghayathi.”

Ghayathi is a small agricultural community with date and vegetable farms. There are also small goat and sheep farms run by people who live in nomadic-style tents.

Mr Al Mazrouie said both sides of the road were deserted, with the exception of camel or sheep farms, which he believes pose a danger to drivers because there are no fences.

“During the night these cattle remain invisible from a distance,” he said. “I want complete fencing.”

Fahad Al Marzooqi believes the “most important thing” is for the road to be fenced to stop animals wandering out because this is “very dangerous”.

Bakheet Al Aamri said there should be “clear signs of camels crossing roads”, supermarkets or groceries and that there should be “at least two lanes for each way with dividers”.

“I travel twice to Ghayathi in a week as my relatives live there and my farm is also close to this place.”

“If the gas stations come up on this road, there must be diesel available, as it is required all the time in our farms and vehicles for transporting fodder to cattle.”

Nakheerah Al Nayee said the road was good but, like the others, felt it needed to be widened and fenced off properly.

Mohammed Aasham, a Pakistani who has lived in Ghayathi for 19 years, said too many motorists exceeded the 100kph speed limit, “which is very dangerous in case cattle suddenly comes up on the road”.

Obaid Al Aamri said farmers threw litter and camel dung beside the road, leaving a foul smell.

“When we stop for prayers beside the road it becomes difficult to stay there,” he said.

anwar@thenational.ae