Abu Dhabi: The summer months may soon be rolling in across the UAE, but residents across the capital are still continuing to frequent public parks over the weekends. A new initiative by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City to install more barbecue stations across these facilities will therefore be welcome news for many.
As Gulf News reported in December 2017, many park goers had complained that there weren’t enough barbecue stations available, and stricter enforcement of regulations that ban grilling outside these stations were proving to be a major dampener to weekend fun. On Wednesday, the municipality announced in a statement that it would install 15 new barbecue units at the Dolphin Park near the Eastern Mangroves Corniches, and 24 units in various other parks across the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
The units are expected to be set up by the second quarter of the year. Five have already been installed at the Dolphin Park.
The statement said the new units will cater to the rising number of park visitors, and allow park goers to enjoy a barbecued meal without damaging public facilities and greenery.
In the capital, barbecuing and shisha smoking are banned activities in all public parks, except in a few designated facilities that have stone-and-cement barbecue stations, including the Heritage Parks, Formal Park and Family Park along Abu Dhabi Corniche, and the Muzha Parks 1, 2, 3 and 5 along Khaleej Al Arabi Street.
To prevent damage to park assets, municipal inspectors have been particularly vigilant at enforcing these regulations this winter, with verbal warnings initially issued to those who do not comply. Fines amounting to Dh1,000 have also been slapped on certain park goers for barbecuing outside designated spots, or for failing to remove leftovers.
Residents had, however, complained to Gulf News that the fines were being issued arbitrarily, and that there simply weren’t enough barbecue stations to cater to everyone, especially over public holidays and weekends.
With the announcement that more barbecue units will be installed, the municipality reiterated that inspectors will continue their inspections of parks to educate visitors about the regulations.
At the same time, it is also working to maintain park assets, including undertaking landscaping works, lighting maintenance and pest control.