Hundreds of kiosks planned for Abu Dhabi's outdoors

Blueprint for hundreds of kiosks to sell food, water and provide services to help make waterfronts and outdoor areas more walker-friendly.

Artist's impression of kiosks that will be installed in the capital's outdoor areas as Abu Dhabi Municipality issues a tender to fit out public places with more elements of attraction. Wam
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ABU DHABI // Hundreds of street kiosks are to be installed in a bid to make the capital's outdoor areas more pedestrian-friendly.

The kiosks will not only sell food, beverages and other convenience items, but will also provide services such as cash machines, vending machines, bike racks and recycling bins.

Each type of kiosk will be a different size and have a different design – the latter of which will be determined by the requirements of the area they are situated in. Parks which do not have vending machines that carry drinks will be among the areas that will get the kiosks.

Abu Dhabi Municipality, which is seeking private backing for the scheme, has earmarked up to 300 locations along the waterfront, in city parks and principal thoroughfares, to feature the kiosks.

The sites are on Abu Dhabi Island and the mainland.

The municipality said it had been inspired by similar projects in other cities around the world and that the kiosks would “enhance the urban experience for residents and visitors alike”.

It hopes the kiosks will tempt more pedestrians to explore the city, particularly during the cooler winter months.

Residents such as Percy Pilane, a South African medical scientist, welcome the move. “We need more facilities, in parks particularly, and public toilets at different city locations. You can hardly find one. There are good parks but they lack amenities.”

“We have to stand in queues for swings, rush for water across the road if we are on the Eastern Mangrove Corniche.

“Due to the climate in this country, more water vending machines and kiosk are needed,” Mr Pilane said, adding that although the parks in the emirate are the “best”, they lack facilities for residents.

The type of food and beverages on offer should also be taken into consideration, he said. “I don’t want unhealthy food outlets, but healthy meals outlets, as many people jog and run in parks.”

Fellow expatriate Mohammed Ahmed agreed. “If we walk from Mina towards Marina Mall on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, we will only get two or three water vending machines.” The issue was more apparent on the corniche along the Eastern Mangroves, said Mr Ahmed.

“It is entirely lacking any machine, or grocery outlet to buy a bottle of water. A stretch of several kilometres does not have a single water vending machine,” he said. The introduction of kiosks would not only aid residents, but be good for tourism, he added.

“This project will cater to the city’s increasing number of residents and visitors and will provide quality amenities in Abu Dhabi’s primary outdoor public spaces,” said Rashed bin Ali Al Omaira, a municipality adviser, yesterday as the contract was put out to tender.

“A 10-year exclusivity framework agreement will be offered to finance, develop and operate kiosk concessions within Abu Dhabi Municipality’s public realm and directly lease the concessions to third parties.”

The municipality called on investors to “propose the latest in design and technology for the implementation of street retail kiosks”.

Investors have until November 7  to submit a bid. Interested parties can visit the municipality's headquarters, call 02 695 5435, or email procurementdivision@adm.abudhabi.ae.