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Accession Day 2002 Feature/Abu Dhabi Municipality

posted on 05/08/2002: 2139 views

The Abu Dhabi Municipality and Town Planning Department has made tremendous achievements in various fields, including construction, housing, industry, commerce, roads and bridges construction and in general services. The achievements was made possible through the directives of president H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who is also the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. It was also made possible through the follow up of Sheikh Mohammed bin Butti Al Hamed, Abu Dhabi Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Municipality and Town Planning Department.

The Department has completed preparing its comprehensive development plan for the city of Abu Dhabi. The vision 2020 plan, which comprises various development and housing projects, was drawn with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP. The plan seeks to lay down a long-term regional socio-economic and constructional strategy as part of a major development plan for Abu Dhabi, the Western Region, as well as the Abu Dhabi islands and coastal areas. The development plan took into serious consideration scientific approach to all big projects, basic environmental requirements and public amenities to serve the growing population. In the case of building planning, the Department has set up new residential areas to meet the demand of the growing population.

The Department has also distributed hundreds of new plots of land to UAE nationals for housing purposes. Notable among these residential areas where housing units and plots of lands were distributed to UAE nationals are the Khalifa City A and B, situated on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road between the Al Mafraq Hospital and the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the New Medinat Zayed on the Al Ain road before the Mafraq roundabout near Mussafah. The Department has also distributed this year a large number of low-cost housing units to UAE nationals in various areas, including Al Rahba, Shahama, Shawamekh, Bahia, Al Ghabat, Al Heiliyya and other areas.

In addition, the Department has distributed to UAE nationals a large number of farmlands and housing plots of lands. Major housing projects currently under construction in various parts of the emirate; include a 2,228 housing units in Al Heiliyya at a total cost of Dh800million. The project is scheduled to be completed by a year and a half time, a 500-villa project in Bahia at a total cost of Dh250million, in addition to another 100-villa project in Delma. All are expected to be completed within the same period of time.

The Department is also undertaking various road, highway and bridge projects to ease traffic flow. These include the expansion works on a number of roads and bridges and the construction of crossroads in some parts of the city and interchanges at various points on the highways linking Abu Dhabi to Dubai, Al Ain and other areas. Notable among the interchanges is the one at Umm Al Nar, which is nearing completion. The Department has also embarked on the second phase of the Corniche road, aimed at improving the road. The project, which include the shifting of the present road to about 150 metres inward from the current water defence wall, by claiming the aforementioned area from the Gulf road crossroad to the Zayed Port area, has already won the approval of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

The four-lane dual road will have various forms of decoration works and recreation facilities along its six-kilometre length. The Western portion of the Corniche road, which was completed in 1998, has added some beauty and elegance to the city. It has also boosted the city's transport and civilisational infrastructures, making significant contribution to the city's winning of international accolades and two international awards. The Eastern Corniche road project, which will include bridges and interchanges, tunnels and crossroads at various vantage points, will increase the city's capacity to absorb more motor traffic, ensure free traffic flow and triple the car-parking capacity along that side of the Corniche by adding about 3,500 more car parking lots to the current number.

The Department has also embarked on a number of road projects after getting the approval from the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. These include the construction of a bridge over the water canal in the Officers Town area, a tunnel project in the same area, the expansion of the Pleasure Beach road into a four-lane dual road, the expansion of the Mussafah road and construction of a tunnel in the centre of the Abu Dhabi city from the Sheikh Zayed II road to the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed road. The Department has recently completed and opened the new crossroad at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, which was converted from its former roundabout form. The new form has greatly improved traffic flow in the area.

The Department has opened to traffic the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road at the Umm Al Nar interchange. The road and the interchange cost the Department a colossal amount of Dh150million. Work on the project started in November 2000 and is expected to be fully complete in April next year. Sixteen multi-storey parking lots are currently under construction in various parts of Abu Dhabi city. The Department is currently undertaking 60 various development projects in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region as part of its plans to provide services to all the areas in the emirate. These projects include the construction of abattoirs, storage facilities, warehouses, markets, a complex which would serve as agriculture guidance offices and agriculture produce marketing centre and other vital projects.

Other areas where the Department has made tremendous achievements are the sewage and the infrastructure sectors. The Department's achievements in these areas has created a healthy environment free from any form of pollution and disease. The Department has so far spent Dh4.268billion on 200 sewage projects. It has earmarked Dh935million for another 26 future projects.

The department has also embarked on the reconstruction of old markets to modernise them to match the country's constructional and building renaissance and development. The vegetable wholesale market at the Mina Zayed area has of late witnessed a very big business activities, receiving haulage of vegetable and fruits imports from Arab, western European, African, Asian, West Asian and Gulf countries.

The Department has encouraged UAE nationals to actively get involved in economic, commercial, industrial and vocational activities by issuing thousands of permits. It has also introduced computerised system to expedite the permit issuing process. On agriculture and afforestation, the Department has in recent years completed a number of projects, including the Al Shari'a Recreation Park, the new Khalifa Recreation Park, Al Silmia forestry project, while the agriculture section of the Department has also printed several brochures to educate the general public as part of its awareness programme.

The section has also, in recent years, drilled 160 wells in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi to provide water to those areas' domestic and agriculture requirements. It has also constructed six 1.2million- gallon-capacity water reservoirs to serve those areas, renewed the irrigation systems covering over 85 hectares in various areas, produced and distributed over one million seedlings of various decoration and fruit plants as well as 15million flower seedlings.

The preventive section of the Department has also executed a wide range of prevention programmes to combat diseases, which affect various plants in various areas of the emirate. It has also executed its chemical and organic fertilisation programmes and conducted various experiments on combating the weevil. On gardens and parks, the Department has completed 43 gardens and recreation parks, while the Khalifa Recreation Park and the Al Wathba Garden are still under construction.

The Department has also set up 11,161 farms in recent years in areas like Liwa, Medinat Zayed, Ghayathi, Bahia, Delma, Ba'eyya, Marfa, Khatam, Rahba, Ajban, Nahda, Smeih, while another 2096 farms are being set up. The Department has also constructed several water reservoirs in the Western region, installed 240 water pumps, 17 generators in various farming areas in Abu Dhabi. It has also constructed 20 fountains in various parts of the Abu Dhabi City. The Department has also successfully implemented its afforestation programme by setting up forests and game reserves and taking proper care of those projects. It has also made significant achievements in the expansion of its greenbelt projects to combat desertification.

In so doing, the Department has in recent years planted about 24,000 date palm trees on an area of 1,200 hectres, stretching from Silmiya to the Muqatra bridge, a distance of 24 kilometres. So far, the Department has distributed to UAE nationals in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi a total of 11,592 farms and 11,161 farms in the western region, while another 2,096, currently under preparation, would be distributed to UAE citizens, including widows and orphans, both males and females. The gesture, according to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Director General of the President's Office, was in line with the directives of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who is totally committed to the welfare and comfort of his people.

Sheikh Mansour said that expansion in agriculture development was the main priority of Sheikh Zayed's efforts for more progress for the nation. The number of date palm trees planted on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road from Ba'aya is now about 14.5million. On general health and environmental protection, the Department has made tremendous achievements. Notable among them is the setting up of the Food and Environment Control Centre, which plays a vital role of detecting air pollution, radiation and food control.

The Department has completed last year a number of activities, which has contributed immensely in minimising environmental pollution. The Department has won a number of awards from international and Arab organisations, in recognition and appreciation of its efforts. On transportation, the Department has linked all the various parts of the emirate with a modern transport network to provide internal and external transport services to the public. 300 buses ply the network, transporting about 12 million passengers a year to their various destinations at very affordable fares. The Abu Dhabi Municipality and Town Planning Department continues to exert concerted efforts to modernise Abu Dhabi to meet the comprehensive development programme envisaged in the vision 2020 plan, which seeks to lay down a long term regional strategy for social, economic and constructional development. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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