Fujairah to start Dh4m Corniche upgrade

The renovation will start after Ramadan and expected to be completed within a year.
Gead Mohammed rests on the corniche wall while looking out at the ocean in an area of the Fujairah the municipality has slated for redevelopment. Antonie Robertson / The National
Gead Mohammed rests on the corniche wall while looking out at the ocean in an area of the Fujairah the municipality has slated for redevelopment. Antonie Robertson / The National

Fujairah // Jogging areas, playgrounds and coffee shops are all part of a Dh4 million plan to overhaul the Corniche.

The renovation will start after Ramadan and is expected to be completed within a year, local authorities said.

“Developing the corniche is one of our major priorities. We had it in mind for a long time but we couldn’t start until now due to some other plans,” said Mohammed Al Afkham, director general of Fujairah Municipality.

“We are planning to add landscapes, pedestrian paths, playgrounds, coffee shops, shaded seating areas, public toilets within walking distance and jogging areas for families, while enjoying the ocean view.

“Expanding the public beach is also in our plans and improving the Fujairah International Marina club by adding more coffee shops and a small shopping centre.

“We are also planning to create a water park in the women and children’s park” he added, which will be separate to the Dh4m corniche plan.

Residents have long called for more facilities at the waterfront and say the overhaul has been a long time coming.

“There is nothing to do here during the weekend – no entertainment activities,” said Emirati Hashim, 39, who did not wish to give his full name.

“I can’t take my family to the Corniche or the park with the increasing numbers of teenagers and workers wandering around, especially in the evening.”

Another Emirati resident, Amneh, had health-and-safety concerns. “The most annoying thing is when you are forced to use the public toilets, I just can’t describe it and I don’t know why there is no one to take care of it,” said Amnah, 30.

“The one and only purpose that lets us as a family visit the Corniche is to let our kids do what they enjoy most – playing with the four-wheel bikes, because there is nothing to do besides that. The playing areas are not safe and also are not shaded,” she said.

Some residents talked about the facilities and services that would improve the area.

Gead Mohammad, 18, an Emirati, had travelled all the way from Sharjah to enjoy the waterfront.

“I came to visit some friends and I really like the place here. The water is very clear and different.

“However, I would love to see more facilities, such as showers and changing rooms.”

Emirati Rashed Ali, 17, said he also goes swimming at the beach but safety was an issue for him.

“I swim here all the time – it is not safe. They should consider public safety.” Lifeguards should be on duty, especially during the weekends, he said.

These concerns were shared by another resident, 25-year-old Faiz, an Emirati.

“I go to one of the beach hotels to swim – the public beach is not customised for that purpose,” he said. “No changing rooms and showers. No lifeguards, umbrellas, chairs or benches – not even decent food and beverage facilities.”

The new Corniche will extend from the Hilton hotel to the Al Rugaylat roundabout – a distance of about four kilometres.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: May 31, 2014 04:00 AM

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