Sharjah: The municipality has reversed its decision and parks are now once again open to the public in the morning.
Gulf News last week reported that the municipality had ordered all neighbourhood and public parks to open at 4pm, in response to female visitors who complained about gardeners staring at them and making them feel uncomfortable.
However, due to the increasing number of complaints from residents, Sharjah Municipality has decided to re-open the parks in the morning.
The new timings, which were implemented last weekend, are now from 8am to 1pm and from 4pm to 10pm. Municipality gardeners no longer have a morning shift, and all the maintenance and cleaning will take place from 1 to 3pm.
Christine Sison, a resident of Al Mahatta, welcomed the change but said more people can benefit if the parks were open at 6am.
"People who do not work can at least go and walk in the park in the morning, but what about others who have to be in the office by 8am?" she said. "If they were opened at 6am, then everybody can enjoy the parks. And the people who do yoga can do it again inside the parks instead of near the pavement."
Sultan Al Mualla, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, said the new timings were made in order to preserve the privacy of families, which also includes identification cards issued by the municipality to enter neighbourhood parks.
According to Al Mualla, park services have improved and more than 57 of them have ladies' prayer rooms, cafeterias and toilets. The improvement of services has been carried out in parks of Al Sufaia, Al Mahatta, Al Khalidiya, Al Suwaihat, Al Ghafia, Al Fayhaa, Al Qadesia, Al Nasseriya, Abu Shaghara, Dasman, Semnan, Maisaloun, Al Tarafana, Al Refaía, Al Qaraen, Al Darari, Al Hezam, Al Akhdar, Al Hamriya, Al Falaj, Al Ramtha and Al Azra.