ABU DHABI // Al Ain’s historical irrigation systems and other areas in the emirate will be dedicated as nature reserves in line with plans approved on Tuesday.
Al Ain Municipality will document the aflaj irrigation systems so they can be considered in planning and development projects to meet decisions made by Abu Dhabi Executive Council’s Executive Committee. The aflaj and oasis region is now a Unesco-recognised site and must be preserved, the committee said.
The Umm Al Aflaj area will be used to attract visitors to highlight the role of the irrigation systems in the region’s cultural and social heritage.
Sand dunes north of Al Tawaya valley and areas of Hazea’a Al Bosch and Zakher were also designated as nature reserves, falling under Al Ain Municipality. Zakher lake, which attracts migrating bird species, will be a reserve under the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
The committee said it hoped to continue safe urban planning, keeping up with growth without affecting nature, in line with the Abu Dhabi plan to preserve natural heritage, protect endangered species and manage local ecosystems and reserves.
Development works such as new roads, gardens and water lines were also approved.
The committee gave a green light to soil and preparatory works to develop zone 2 north of Al Wathba for Dh75 million. Work at zone 1 in the same area was approved last month, and will form one of the emirate’s largest residential communities for UAE nationals.
A Dh89m project for Abu Dhabi Island section 4 will include 12.2 kilometres of new wastewater lines, the renovation of 3.6km of lines, maintenance to 1,500 manholes, 1.5km of tunnels and CCTV monitors covering more than 35km.