Frustration from Al Zahiyah residents and businesses at road closure

People hit out at announcement busy 10th Street will be closed for nine months as construction works get under way.

Road closures at Al Ferdous Street. Ramon Penas / The National
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Businesses and residents in Al Zahiyah are alarmed at the prospect of nine months of diversions after it was announced that Tenth Street will close while works get under way.

The road, in the area formerly known as Tourist Club Area, will close from July 16 until March next year and people are concerned about heavy traffic and parking.

Abdulhameed Yaseen, an Egyptian who lives in Burj Al Saada on Ferdous Street, which will become an access point to hotels and Abu Dhabi Mall on 10th Street, said the existing parking problems will double.

"Since I started living here, this road has been partially closed - now it will only be made worse," said the 34-year-old accountant.

"Normally, I spend one hour looking for a parking [space] - when all traffic will be diverted here, it will take me three hours.

"And at least now I park on the other side on Mina Road if I don't find a space here. When [access to Mina Road is] closed, I don't know where I will go.

"Normally there is no traffic congestion here [on Ferdous Street] but now there will be."

Majeda Al Khateeb, 40, an executive secretary from Syria, wondered how she will be able to get home from work on Hamdan Street due to the road closure.

"This street is very smooth but now, if it closes, or even partially closes, it will be chaotic, especially when school buses are back," she said.

Fadi Al Masri, manager of the Sedar home decor shop on Mina Road, said that business has already been affected - down by 30 per cent, she said - since minor works started. "Now if it [10th Street] closes, I highly doubt any customers will come because they will have to park on the opposite [side of the road] and walk in this heat. I don't think any customer will be up for that," he said.

Mr Al Masri thinks his customers will go to the Khalidiya or Corniche branches instead.

Similarly, a salesman at Sea Wave fishing equipment shop said customers will simply go to his competitor's shop on Ferdous Street. Since construction work started on his street, cars have not been able to pass through to his shop from the main road.

"They have to go around, and once it closes it will be an even bigger round for them," he said.

A source at Abu Dhabi Municipality said 10th Street will probably only be partially closed.

"We will start work on two lanes, and leave the other two open, and then rotate the procedure," he said.

"We never close any road and not provide alternatives."