The arrival of Lebanese Flower on Muroor Road may have pleased most residents, but those who live in the building housing the restaurant must deal with the noise and traffic it generates.
ABU DHABI // The tantalising aroma of shawarma and the constant noise of car horns keep Hassan, Hanan and Lilas awake at night.
“Putting the children to bed can already be difficult,” said Ruba Al Sharif, the children’s mother. “So imagine adding noise to the mix. Sometimes the kids start complaining that the honking is too loud and they can’t fall asleep.”
In January, the Jordanian family moved into a residential building at the corner of Muroor Road and 31st Street. But soon after they committed to the move, they discovered that the Lebanese Flower restaurant was scheduled to open on the ground floor.
“When signing the contract, I was surprised to find out that a restaurant was opening downstairs,” said Shadi Hasan, the children’s father. “But I had already made the deposit, and to be honest, I didn’t think it would be so bad.”
Because they are on the first floor, the family has to deal with the smells and the noise well into the night. The parking area in front of the restaurant is often blocked, with drivers either honking for their orders or honking in attempt to get through.
“Even after the restaurant closes, we still hear noise up until 3am – of people shuffling, moving chairs and tables around as staff are trying to clean up,” Ms Al Sharif said.
The parents, both agricultural engineers, start work at 6am, leaving only a short interval between the time the noise abates and the hour the couple rises.
“So, essentially, you get no sleep,” Mr Hasan said.
The couple said they are not likely to renew their lease, a decision made reluctantly.
“We liked it here because it was a convenient location next to our children’s school,” Mr Hasan said. “Who knows where we’ll need to move now. ”
Although the couple is not opposed to the concept of drive-by service, they would like to see some sort of regulations put in place. They said they have not lodged any complaints with the police or building management because legally nothing can be done.
“You can’t ask for personal comfort at the cost of other people’s blessings, that’s certainly not what we’re implying,” Mr Hasan said. “You’re talking about a business and people’s jobs.
“People are the way they are … culturally, people here are used to being served and while we’d love to see attitudes change, the reality is at this point it’s very difficult.
“What we’re saying is if you can’t prohibit it, then put clear rules in place to prevent these problems from happening.”