The new jogging path, which opened on Tuesday, is part of the municipality's plan to develop extensive public exercise spaces across the city.
Al Mushrif track gives runners a healthy venue
ABU DHABI // A jogging track in Al Mushrif, which opened on Tuesday, is part of the municipality's plan to develop extensive public exercise spaces across the city.
The rubberised track, on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, is designed to withstand the high heat and humidity of Abu Dhabi and to reduce injuries to runners by absorbing shock. It is the longest running path in the capital at 2,400 metres.
"It is one of the goals of the municipality to provide a healthy environment for walkers and people doing exercise," said Osama Hasan al Masawi, an engineer in the parks and recreation facilities department at the municipality. "We hope people will be encouraged to go and exercise."
Three more jogging tracks, totalling 5,200 metres, are expected to open within the next year.
The municipality also plans to construct additional facilities alongside the Al Mushrif track. A second phase of work on the track, which runs from the Adnoc petrol station on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street to Federal Passports Bridge, will add nine stations for benches, water coolers and vending machines. Five stations will include exercise equipment.
Mr al Masawi said an 800-metre track for cycling and jogging would open next week near Afrah Al Nahyan Yard. Two others - a 1,100-metre track near Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed School and a 900-metre one near the 21st Century Private Academy - will open in the new year.
The tracks will be equipped with warning lights and signals at junctions to protect joggers. A completion date for the added amenities will be decided on next year.
Mr al Masawi said the municipality had chosen the location of the tracks based on the wishes of residents.
"In Abu Dhabi city, too many people were going to the Corniche and they were asking for different areas, especially in their neighbourhoods."
However, Steve Watson, the event organiser for the Abu Dhabi Striders running group, questioned the appeal of the tracks.
"What would the idea be? To drive to a 900-metre track and then drive home?" asked Mr Watson, who runs three times a week.
Instead, the municipality should consult with the capital's running clubs to determine which sites would benefit the most people, Mr Watson said.