x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Khalifa City parks to be finished this year

Municipality responds to community wishes for parks in Khalifa City A.

ABU DHABI // Three parks in Khalifa City A are expected to be finished by the end of the year, Abu Dhabi Municipality says.

Residents have complained about the lack of parks, playgrounds and walkways in their community.

They say the lack of reserves and footpaths means they must drive for 20 minutes to Khalifa Park and walk on the sides of narrow service roads, in danger from speeding cars.

But they say they are delighted that the municipality has set a date for the parks' opening.

"Generally we go out on weekends, and every time we have to take our children to Abu Dhabi because we do not have parks here," said Mazar Khalid, a resident. "But I am happy that a few parks are going to come up here soon."

Mr Khalid said there were concerns for children forced to play outside villas.

Rashid Al Falasi, the director of parks and recreational facilities at the municipality, said the three parks would have a total area of 28,000 square metres.

Abu Dhabi has plans to build 120 playgrounds over five years. Thirty-seven have already been developed and another 20 are to be finished by the end of the year. The plans call for 60 playgrounds on Abu Dhabi Island and 60 elsewhere.

The UAE has set a goal of creating 25 square metres of green area for each resident by 2014-2015.

Mahmoud Mohammed, an engineer who lives in Khalifa City A, said he liked the community because it was well positioned.

"It gives us a quick access to the airport, Dubai and Abu Dhabi city as well," Mr Mohammed said.

He called the area a "calm, quiet and peaceful place to reside" but added: "One thing I am concerned about is the lack of playgrounds for kids, so we have to take out them to other parks like Khalifa Park. Kids who play outside villas sometimes [are in] danger when speeding car pass by them.

"My wife feels uncomfortable to walk in the dark when she finds most of the street lights on service roads are switched off.

"She goes out almost every day for a walk after maghrib prayer, when it becomes dark."

Mr Mohammed also said his family was excited about more development in the community.

"We are also looking forward to having shopping malls, hypermarkets here," he said. "Now we shop in Abu Dhabi."

anwar.ahmad@thenational.ae