As a passionate photographer, I love to explore the Capital city during the serene early hours of Friday and Saturday. As usual, I set out one morning at 7.30am and there were some activities awaiting my attention in the park at the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
As soon as I reached the location, a small hill surrounded by green fencing, I spotted a group of people in one corner sitting and talking. There were bottles scattered in front of them and one person was pouring something into a plastic container. I understood very clearly what they were doing from their behaviour.
As I moved around and continued clicking, I found myself back in the same spot after an hour and they were still progressing with their activities.
From the bold way in which this group of people openly drank alcohol at 8.30am, I felt that this was not the first time they had done it.
They may have had a steady supply of alcohol from someone nearby, or they would not have found such a convenient place and time to indulge in the practice. When I looked around, I saw families scattered around the park, and children playing in groups and by themselves, away from their families.
Fearful thoughts came to my mind. I remember the sad plight of young children I read about in the news, who had been abducted or molested.
This particular group soon reached an inebriated state and started drinking directly from the bottle. As I walked away, I saw them throwing and shattering the empty bottles on a nearby lamp post.
I strongly feel that this is not a one-off incident. Effective control measures are needed. I call for more vigilance and increased community policing in public parks and beaches during morning hours and evenings.
— The reader is a technical officer, based in Abu Dhabi