Meet the Abu Dhabi resident planting hundreds of trees to make the UAE greener

Iraqi Sinan Al Awsi wants his years of dedication to be the legacy of his life in the Emirates

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A green-fingered Abu Dhabi resident is on a one-man mission to brighten up his neighbourhood, having planted 209 trees single-handedly.

Sinan Al Awsi, 62, who has lived in the Emirates since 1999, has happily set aside time to greenify Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street over the past seven years.

The dedicated Iraqi has won support from many grateful neighbours, but has not sought recognition for his eco efforts.

Yet when footage taken of him planting trees was shared on social media, he unwittingly earned wider acclaim.

He has planted 105 coconut and 104 plumeria trees in addition to more than 80 shrubs and flowers, transforming a 500-metre stretch into an urban oasis.

On Tuesday, Mr Al Awsi received a surprise visit from Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, to thank him for his hard work.

Mr Al Shorafa conveyed the greetings of President Sheikh Mohammed.

“I always say, any good deed in the UAE will not be lost or wasted," Mr Al Awsi told The National.

"I’m grateful to President Sheikh Mohamed because he knew about my initiative. I’m proud as an Iraqi to be recognised and also for contributing in the ecosystem and sustainability of Abu Dhabi.”

Abu Dhabi man plants more than 200 trees outside his residence

Abu Dhabi man plants more than 200 trees outside his residence

His horticultural journey began when he was granted permission by his landlord and authorities to spruce up the area.

The engineer, who has worked on key projects such as Sheikh Zayed Bridge, found he had another grand design taking shape.

He bought a truckload of special soil, installed water pipes and planted the trees.

“Abu Dhabi Municipality has been very supportive with me and gave me the permission to extend planting the trees,” he added.

Every Friday, on his weekend, he wakes up and starts working and looking after the trees from 6am to 11.30am.

“It required hard work but my passion for gardens and planting kept me going. Every day I look at the trees and smile at what I managed to do,” he said.

“These trees are my legacy in the UAE. People who will pass by this place in the future will pray for the person who planted them.”

His passion for environmental conservation is at the heart of his work.

“There is a pressing need for more green spaces. Trees provide many benefits including air purification, shade and ecosystem support,” he said.

Mr Al Awsi said his father taught him how to make gardens and look after trees.

“I used to plant trees with my late father since I was four years old. We planted a big garden in our home in Iraq and since then I have had a passion for planting trees and flowers,” he said.

The engineer's good deeds have led to a nomination in the Abu Dhabi Awards, which honour community champions across the emirate.

He encouraged residents to seek permission to take on their own schemes and help his green dream to spread far and wide.

Updated: June 03, 2023, 7:42 AM