Country on an ambitious green drive

The capital city of the UAE is expected to have 130 parks by 2017 with new green spaces being unveiled in Mohammed bin Zayed City, Khalifa City, Shakhbout City, Shamkha City and Al Adla City. Currently, the per capita green space of Abu Dhabi is 20 square metres and the municipal authorities are targeting to reach the 25-square-metre mark.

A big ticket green project set to be unveiled in the next couple of years will be the Al Fayah Park located on Airport Road. Located below a thick canopy that resembles sun-baked ground, the architecture is designed to protect visitors and the park vegetation from the harsh summer heat. Spread over 125,000 square metres, the green space will also have cafés and libraries, making it a community meeting place. The park will supply fresh fruits and vegetables to local cafés and restaurants.

The Mushrif Central Park, which just opened recently after undergoing renovation, is a sprawling 14.5-hectare green oasis. Around 300 seasonal flowers and 258 ornamental trees adorn the park. More than 10 per cent of the park has been re-vegetated with indigenous and naturalised species. According to planners, reclaimed grey water will be used to maintain the green cover; thus, making a significant saving of around 40 per cent in water consumption.

Urban planners in Dubai are targeting to increase the emirate’s green spaces from 7,000 hectares to around 12,000 hectares in the next five years. Three new neighbourhood parks are coming up in Muhaisnah 3 and Al Warqa. An existing green area in Satwa, the Al Khazan Park, has undergone a massive facelift and has been recently opened to the public. There are plans to introduce legislation that will make it mandatory for developers to include a minimum of 25 per cent of green spaces and outdoor landscaping in all residential and commercial projects.

One of the property developers in Dubai has recently announced that they will create a tropical rainforest within one of their residential projects where visitors can undertake a safari tour to savour the different flora and fauna