Bahrain parks to close early
Manama, April 8, 2012
New restrictions have been put in place in public parks and gardens across the centre of Bahrain to prevent disturbances caused by late night gatherings.
It means the parks will now be open from 7am to 10pm from Saturday to Wednesday and until 11pm on Thursday and Friday, effective from this week.
However, they will not be implemented in the Central Governorate's three walkways - Al Estiqlal, A'ali and Isa Town, which are not fenced and can be used 24/7.
The Central Municipal Council initially agreed on a set opening time of 10am, but this sparked a heated debate among councillors, who argued it was too late as some residents used the parks to train or jog.
They also urged some parks to take into consideration regular habits of people using the facility and be more flexible in their timings.
"Most complaints are not with opening timings, so I don't see any logic in having the opening hours at 10am, 7am would be fine," said Central Municipality director-general Dr Mohammed Hassan. "Especially since there are many people practising sports or training early in the morning at parks and gardens and by 10am it would be too late.
"The closing timings are a problem, considering that security guards don't close gates until everyone leaves at night and that is what needs to be changed."
Residents have complained of noise and disturbances caused by youngsters using the parks late at night, despite the presence of security guards.
"Coming up with specific timings is a popular demand, which after the councillors' approval will be implemented next week, as we end noise and disturbances from people, especially youths, using our facilities late at night," said Dr Hassan.
Council services and public utilities committee chairman Ahmed Al Ansari welcomed the country's youth to use the parks and gardens, but urged them to go elsewhere for socialising at night.
"Parks and gardens are open for the convenience of everyone, including families and youths," he said.
"But when youths think they are alone in the area and start creating noise and disturbances late at night, then closing timings have to be introduced.
"Bahrain is full of places youths can go to at night after closing hours and I don't think that parks and gardens are the only places available for socialising." – TradeArabia News Service