$23m Arad walkway project launched
Manama, October 31, 2007
Construction of a BD8.9 million ($23.67 million) public walkway around the protected area of Arad Bay was officially launched at a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
It coincided with the announcement of a BD19 million Grand Muharraq Park, which will be linked with the Arad Bay walkway by a pedestrian bridge.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife president and Southern Governor Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Shaikh Abdulla was briefed during the ceremony on different stages of the project and laid the foundation stone.
The 3.1-km walkway is located near the Bahrain International Airport and opposite Movenpick Hotel, Muharraq.
It will be Bahrain's longest to date and will feature a fishing area, water fountains, a children's play area, a recreational garden with benches, gazebos, pergolas and shaded seating along the walkway, as well as lawns, trees and shrubs.
There will also be shops, restaurants, a praying area, restrooms, a paved driveway and parking for 400 cars in two separate lots.
The project includes the construction of two pedestrian bridges, one over the Khalifa Al Kabeer Highway and the other over the Isa Al Khabeer Highway. The walkway is being built by Abdulla Nass Contractors and is due to be completed by April 2009.
Consultants for the project are Mohamed Salahuddin Engineering Consulting Bureau.
The project is supervised by a committee chaired by the commission vice-president Professor Dr Ismail Al Madani.
Other members include former Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Mohammed Al Wazzan, engineer Muneer Al Yacoobi and representatives from the Municipalities and Agriculture and Electricity and Water ministries, as well as the council.
'The efforts of commission president Shaikh Abdulla were instrumental in the development of this project and for it to see the light of day,' said Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Mansoor Bin Rajab at the ceremony.
'The ministry has taken many steps to meet the aspirations of citizens and residents by offering public parks that reflect the country's development,' he said.
Meanwhile, the Grand Muharraq Park is expected to become a major landmark for Bahrain.
A Bahrain-Kuwait joint contract for the project was signed yesterday between Bin Rajab, Kuwaiti board chairman of Salah Al Rumaih General Trading and Contracting Group Salah Al Rumaih and project strategic partner Faez Ahmed Budi, head of Bahrain Budi projects company.
'It will become one of the outstanding landmarks in the country,' said Bin Rajab.
'The two projects aim to encourage tourism locally and abroad to further boost the country's economic development and offer family entertainment to residents.
'Muharraq, this beautiful and lucky governorate, today has two big projects that represent a major step towards upgrading recreational and tourism projects.'
Arad Bay was declared a natural reserve by Shaikh Abdulla in 2003. Measuring 500 sq m, it is a safe haven for migrant birds, shrimps and rare marine life.
'This project began in 2001 when His Majesty King Hamad issued a royal decree to turn Arad Bay into a natural reserve in line with Bahrain's constitution and National Action Charter, which stipulates the state must take necessary measures to maintain the environment and safeguard wildlife,' said Professor Dr Al Madani.
'This natural reserve safeguards a number of marine life that were facing extinction due to reclamation works being carried out in most areas of the country.'
The ceremony was also attended by Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Mohammed Hammada, officials, diplomatic corps and guests. - TradeArabia News Service