Abu Dhabi completes Dh258m Al Zahiyah development project

The scheme included new roads, bridges, parks and pedestrian walkways

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It has cost Dh258 million and taken 10 years, but construction work in front of Abu Dhabi Mall is now complete.

Abu Dhabi authorities announced the completion of the project in Al Zahiyah on Tuesday.

The scheme included new roads, bridges, parks and pedestrian walkways, as well as the installation of telecommunications lines and power cables.

Officials at Abu Dhabi Municipality said the programme would help raise standards of living for residents.

Civic engineers also installed new street lighting and drainage plus four new bridges linking Al Zahiyah with Al Maryah Island.

“The project was implemented within the framework of [...] providing high-quality infrastructure that meets the needs of the individual and society," a statement from the municipality said.

“The project also aims to raise the standard of living, consolidate sustainable development and contribute to the happiness and well-being of the community."

Roadworks have been under way in Al Zahiyah for almost a decade, with motorists at times becoming stuck in traffic for hours due to gridlocking.

In January, shoppers at Abu Dhabi Mall said they were stuck in the car park for up to two hours after roadworks caused a backlog of vehicles in Al Firdous Street, making it impossible to leave the underground parking.

The first road construction project in Al Zahiyah began in December 2008.

Ahmad Raafat, 31, said he was happy the construction work was now over.

"The roads were very chaotic, I may have not suffered that long from the construction works there, but whenever they reassigned lanes it became very messy,” said the account manager from Egypt.

“I wouldn't know how to get to some places and google maps itself would get lost because it doesn't know the changes they have made."

Mr Raafat, who began working at Makeen building opposite the mall in January, said there were also a number of cafes that were inaccessible by car while the roadworks were under way.

"It was even a challenge to get to Abu Dhabi Mall, and our office is right in front of it.

"But since Ramadan the roads became much better and it looks nicer," he said.