UAE President orders multimillion-dirham development project

Dams, roads, power supplies and improved health care are among a Dh229 million package of projects decreed for the Northern Emirates by the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

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ABU DHABI // Dams, roads, power supplies and improved health care are among a Dh229 million package of projects decreed for the Northern Emirates by the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

The works in Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Sharjah have been planned to boost the economies of the emirates and provide better quality of life for their citizens.

A meeting of the committee set up to implement Sheikh Khalifa’s directives has met to review the developments, under its chairman Ahmed Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs.

For Fujairah, they include building and maintaining two dams and five flood-protection barriers in the Sakamkam Basin, a Dh42m project that will take 12 months to complete.

Mr Al Zaabi said the area was subject to frequent flooding, threatening homes and farms.

The committee will also develop an upper junction of Yabsa Bypass, close to Fujairah Port, to ease traffic congestion. It will cost Dh40m.

Saeed Al Shehhi, 31, uses the bypass each weekend when he travels home to his family in Khor Fakkan.

“The only way to get to Khor Fakkan is through this road that leads to Fujairah,” Mr Al Shehhi said.

“It is the only basic road that takes us from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The road is unusable but we have no other choice. It is a two-way road without curbs, and cars surprise us.

“It is broken down in certain areas and filled with sand. Any car driving past gets dirty with the sand.”

In UAQ, the committee will replace part of the overhead line from the main power station with a 9.2-kilometre underground line in Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Street, costing Dh60m. It is scheduled to be finished in 18 months.

Dh46m has been set aside to build and maintain Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Road, which will connect the existing Ahmed bin Rashid Road to Al Ittihad Street.

Ahmed Al Ali, 35, drives from Abu Dhabi to UAQ almost every week and describes the road as very dangerous.

“We are used to it but others might find the need to be more careful on the road,” Mr Al Ali said.

He said the road had more than seven U-turns, causing sudden stops, and there was no shoulder lane for emergencies.

Another problem is the lack of drains, allowing water to pool on the sides of the road and create a traffic hazard.

“It is risky and dangerous,” Mr Al Ali said. “There are also no speed bumps, traffic lights or radars, which means people are able to speed freely.”

He praised the project and said he hoped shops would be set up in the area.

“There should be development – a complex or coffee shops – so it would be in a better state.”

Finally, Sharjah’s health care will be boosted with medical equipment the committee will provide to Al Qassimi Hospital.

Mr Al Zaabi said it would increase the hospital’s efficiency and ability to provide high-quality health services.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae