Abu Dhabi to protect trees dating back to the late 1800s

Almost 138 years old, these trees have become a heritage piece of the capital’s history

Abu Dhabi Municipality is trying to save trees that have survived since the late 1800s.

Almost 138 years old, these trees in Al Bateen Park are a part of the capital’s history.

The Dh1.2 million project by the municipality aims to protect these trees from 1882.

According to The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the UAE is home to around 678 known terrestrial plant species, including flowering plants, ferns, bryophytes, and mosses.

Many of these trees and plants have, over a period of time, adapted to the harsh climate of the country.

The municipality has added a protective fence around the trees with explanatory signs for the visitors once the park opens to the public.

“[The signs aim] to document the date of the plantation and to increase awareness about it,” said a municipality representative, who added that the signboards detail the historical significance of the park and explain why the trees should be preserved.

The project will also upgrade the park with new running and cycling tracks, the municipality announced on Monday.

Green fields, park benches, lampposts and trash cans have also been added to the sideways of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street.

The cycling and walking tracks of Al Bateen are connected with the existing ones across the island that run through the city.

The Youth Hub and Corniche Towers towards the Mina Zayed area, Al Mushrif, and the area opposite the Eastern Mangroves have walking tracks for the public.

The park is expected to open to the public in June this year.

The project in Al Bateen follows similar initiatives in Abu Dhabi to add more green spaces for the public.

Public parks are popular across the country and authorities are trying to make the city greener.

A survey conducted by The National with Masdar studied the perceptions of residents on public green spaces around them.

It polled 500 people in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

A majority (87 per cent) of the respondents said they regularly visit public green spaces.

Those who do not visit public parks said there was a lack of greener spaces in their vicinity.

Currently, all public parks in the country are closed as the government has issued strict stay-at-home orders to contain the spread of Covid-19.