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2 Dubai parks to be closed temporarily for canal project

Filed on October 10, 2013
2 Dubai parks to be closed temporarily for canal project

The closure of two popular public parks would be done in different phases of Dubaiís ambitious canal project

DUBAI - Safa Park and Jumeirah Open Beach Park in Dubai will be closed temporarily to pave the way for the construction of Dubai’s ambitious project, the Business Bay Canal, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Officials of the Dubai Municipality that manages these two popular public parks on Wednesday confirmed that the closure of the parks will be required for redesigning them to incorporate the massive infrastructure development for the new project that will make an extension of the Dubai Creek from Business Bay to Jumeirah Beach.

“Both the parks will have to be closed. The redesigning [of the parks] for the new project is already done,” Director of the Planning Department Dawood Al Hajri said.

He said the closure of the parks would be done in different phases of the canal project, which is slated to complete in 2015 as per the latest plan announced last week by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Head of Public Parks Mohammed Al Fardan said the section is yet to receive any orders on the closure. “I have no clue about it. But it is a major concern for us also like the public and the media.”

The official said on one hand, he too is “sad” that the Safa Park, a favourite weekend destination for thousands and a daily exercise venue for hundreds, will have to be closed, though not permanently. But, on the other hand, he said everyone has to take it positively thinking about the future benefits it is going to bring in. “It’s going to be for something very good for Dubai’s future. So, we have to be positive about it,” he said.

Al Hajri said the dates for the closure of the parks would be announced soon as per the dates set for the construction phases. It is not clear for how long the parks will have to remain closed. “We are coordinating with the Roads and Transport Authority and other parties involved in the project.”

He said regular visitors to the parks will have to look for alternative options.

Sue Samuel, who started walking in Safa Park just two months back, said she was very sad to hear about the imminent closure of the park. “My life has changed ever since I started going for morning walks in Safa Park. I’m sure hundreds of people like me will be sad if the park is going to be closed down. It has got very good facilities for leisure and exercises. Seeing the people interested in fitness motivates you to go back to the park every day.”

Dubbed as one of Dubai’s best kept secrets for four decades, the 64-acre Safa Park is rated as a must visit for people with a love for nature. It is also the venue of a popular monthly flea market. Jumeirah Open Beach Park is one of the two public beachfront parks in Dubai that is blessed with yearlong sunshine and serene beaches.

sajila@khaleejtimes.com


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