What you need to know:
- No washrooms at Jebel Hafeet top, visitors concerned
- Reader writes to Gulf News about the issue.
Since 2005, the time I came to Abu Dhabi, UAE, this country has become my home. I feel so secured and peaceful living here. This country provides me with everything one needs for livelihood, full filling all my dreams, which I grew up dreaming like freedom, security, beautiful country with amazing countryside, supporting government with all services provided to all people. I have achieved a lot in this country, spending around more than a decade here. Never had any complains or issues as authorities tackled them even before they were raised.
However, I would like to highlight an issue I have come across and hope to get the attention of the right authorities. Repeatedly I have seen restrooms missing at a very popular leisure spot in Al Ain – Jebel Hafeet.
Some time back this year, I, along with my family, planned a trip to Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain. As the weather was beautiful and we have been getting plenty of rain this year, it makes long drives even more fun and enjoyable around the country.
Due to the pleasant conditions, there was a large crowd at the top at Jebel Hafeet. Children were playing, couples and senior citizens were sitting and chit chatting, few were busy clicking pictures and selfies. The scene was mesmerizing. It was a cold rainy evening.
Everything was going smooth, until my 10 year-old daughter and I had the need to use the washroom. We were actually in the impression that there is a cafeteria up there, which must have a washroom that can be used in the case of emergencies. When we went near the area, to our great horror, we discovered that it was closed down. Soon after, we figured that there is no washroom in the vicinity at all.
Still in shocked we inquired further, came to know there were many like us suffering with the emergency and searching for a washroom.
As it was weekend there, the crowd consisted of hundreds. Many of them surely needed to use a washroom, as they come from long drives and families. As the day passes, many need it to perform ablution for the day’s prayers.
I saw elderly people who were in bad shape as they spent long periods of time at the spot. I could see worry on family members faces. People started to go back in search for the washroom but as it was a Friday, there was slow moving traffic with conjunction along the mountain’s road. It was taking minimum a minimum of 45 minutes to climb down and another 15 minutes to drive to reach to the nearest petrol station.
With no other option in sight, I remembered that there is a café after you drive down the mountain. As feared, as soon as we reached the waiter said: “No washroom!” and we had to walk back to our car.
We finally drove for another 50 minutes and rushed to a washroom. Finally relieved.
The incident forced us to think for all those people who must be facing the same situation like us, especially the senior citizens and the children. What would they all must have done?
People request authorities
“My last visit to Jebel Hafeet with my family especially my mother in law turned out to be a disaster, complete nightmare. She is an older woman with medical issues along with lot of medication and need to use washroom every specific interval of time. We had gone with happy vibes to visit the mountain but had to rush down immediately due to no washrooms. I request the authorities to look into this matter and provide us with proper and clean restrooms,” said Siraj Miyagamwala, engineer based in Abu Dhabi.
“My recent such visit to Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain, had left me disappointed with the same issue of no washroom at all at the top. We were under the impression that a cafeteria with washrooms is there. I want to request the authorities or concerned department in Al Ain to consider this request to build a permanent washroom at the top of mountain Jebel Hafeet,” said Fatima Hussain, a homemaker based in Abu Dhabi.
Editor’s note: The complaint was forwarded to the Al Ain Municipality for comments. However, despite repeated reminders, they failed to respond.
— The reader is based in Abu Dhabi.
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