My dream project for Abu Dhabi is...

WE ALL KNOW about the grand projects planned for the capital — the Cultural District on Sadiyaat Island, the Marina Wharf in Al Bateen area, the Mushrif Park make-over, the world’s eco-friendliest Masdar City and, ultimately, the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan, moving the capital out of the island.

By Anwar Ahmad, Silvia Radan And Olivia Olarte

Published: Sat 28 Aug 2010, 9:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:46 AM

There are hotels, cafes, residential apartments being built at a furious pace, but is this what the city wants? Well, largely it is, but when we asked some of the residents here what would their dream project for Abu Dhabi, they came up with these ideas:

Dr Djelloul Bellahouel (Algeria)

General advisor - area services at the Western Region Municipality

IT IS hard to find anybody in the city who is not suffering from some kind of disease, whether minor or major. I believe that this is because of lack of appropriate recreational and sports centres affordable to ordinary residents.

If we were physically fit, we wouldn’t need to visit hospitals. Obesity, cancer and diabetes patients are very common among people living here, and this could be substantially reduced with proper exercise. To build a hospital, it needs a lot more space and money than to build a sports centre. If I could have something built in Abu Dhabi it would be an affordable sports centre.

Also, the swimming pools are mostly in expensive hotels which middle class families with standard salaries cannot afford. More private and not too expensive swimming pools would be nice.

Dr Ismail Ali El Fihail (Sudan)

UAE heritage researcher

I WOULD like a really good theatre. I miss seeing a good play. It is not good to think of entertainment during Ramadan, but generally speaking, if I could have something built in Abu Dhabi, it would be a modern theatre house. We do actually have the National Theatre here, but very rarely is there a performance.

I used to live in Bayreuth, Germany, where there is the special Wagner theatre, where there are always opera and drama performances. Also in Sudan we have a theatre, where I used to go. The other thing we have in Sudan which I would like to see here as well is a folkloric theatre for traditional dances.

Gayatri Raghwa (India)

Environmental education lead officer

WHAT I would really like to see in Abu Dhabi is some green spaces, especially between buildings. My children are now grown up, but when they were young and also when I look at the children today, they have no place to play. I feel they are deprived of some joys of childhood because of the lack of playing grounds.

Sure, there are the big parks and the Corniche, but parents cannot take the kids there every day. Besides, just like when we were young, children love to go out in the evening by themselves and play with their friends around the home where they live, not go some place far with their parents, where they have no friends and are constantly watched over.

Also, some entertainment for the parents would be nice.

Abdulla Mustafa Baniali (Jordan)

Media relations officer

I would like to see more parking spaces here as many people at the moment are suffering for lack of parking facilities. I don’t think the Mawaqif has solved this dilemma yet. Paid parking does not substitute for lack of parking spaces.

I think we need to find more reasonable solutions for this, such as constructing dedicated buildings to park cars in dense residential areas or allocating two floors in new residential buildings to serve as car park spaces.

Dr Djel

Mohammed Ansher Aboobaker (India)

Bank operations manager

HAVING TWO very active boys, I would love to see more playgrounds for children, which should be accessible and within the neighbourhood. I grew up in the UAE and back then we used to have many empty areas, where we used to play football or cricket. Today, though, all those empty spaces are filled with buildings and shopping centres and children really lack the very important physical activity they need. Instead of playing outdoors with their friends, they are stuck with the TV and computers, which are making them overweight and an unhealthy lot.


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