By Peter Alagos
Fence or no fence, many people still flock to Al Rumailah Park on Doha Corniche even if 80% of the area has been sealed off with a metal barricade to make way for landscaping and rehabilitation works by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP).
The barricade, made out of corrugated metal sheets, was installed starting from the corner of the Heritage Village fronting the Corniche and stretches up to the Qatar National Theatre signal going towards the Emiri Diwan.
While the portion of the park in front of the Corniche appears to be fully enclosed by the barricade, visitors make their way to the area using the two small separate “gates.”
Also, people enter the park via a long segment at the back of the park that still remains open. Workers have yet to barricade the area pending the removal of steel trusses and seats of the grandstand used during the Qatar National Day celebrations.
One of the security guards manning the park estimated that the entire area could be completely fenced off by next Friday. “Perhaps, the park could be sealed off completely when the remaining sections of the grandstand located at the back of the park are removed,” he said.
Yes Cafeteria, the only store available in the area, will cease operations today (January 3), a staff told Gulf Times. In an earlier interview, store manager Moosa Kurumberi, who worked at the cafeteria for eight years, said he felt sad when he was initially informed of the park’s closure.
On November 1, 2014, the park was sealed off with a makeshift barricade made of nylon cord. However, many people, mostly couples and families, continue to enjoy the park’s relaxing and wholesome ambience.
Visitors take advantage of the wide shade provided by the trees and lounge around spacious grassy areas. Children make the most of the concrete slide and paved pedestrian lanes for running, biking, or even rollerblading.
A Filipino expatriate, who frequents Rumailah Park with other compatriots, said her group holds picnics in the area twice a month.
“We regularly come here to enjoy each other’s company. This is a good way to relax and unwind; it also helps us overcome the stress that comes with being homesick and far from our families,” she said.
A Nepalese couple said they will continue to visit the park as long as the public has access to the area: “We have been coming to Rumailah since we arrived in Qatar more than five years ago. I know there are other places to enjoy the weekend but this park has a unique character, which we enjoy so much.”
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