Parks and playgrounds

After a long wait, the parks and playgrounds are nearing completion. There are tennis courts, swings, monkey bars, basketball courts and expansive grassy turfs. One inspired resident recently sent out a call for a weekly fun rugby game at the main pitch. I heard from the Facebook ‘vine’ that turnout was quite good. Let’s hope this group gets momentum and it becomes a regular weekend feature. I’ve also seen a post about starting some friendly basketball games. I’d say it’s high time to get out there and move those muscles. No better way to make new friends and keep in shape!

It’s just a real shame to have received such a negative message from Nakheel this week:

“Please be advised that the Community Sports Amenities in Jumeirah Village Triangle are still under construction. Residents and visitors are advised that entering the courts and the surrounding area is strictly prohibited due to construction being undertaken. The safety of our community is important to us.”

What is this all about? Some residents, albeit only a few, have been waiting for a place to run or throw a ball with their kids for 4 years now. Most of us have been waiting the better part of 2 years or so for the pleasure of a nice outdoor walk. I find this communication to be rather insensitive on the part of Nakheel. Due to their own mismanagement, the JVT project was significantly delayed. They should be happy that residents are pleased to finally have green public spaces. I, for one, am relieved to see that most of the tree ‘sticks’ have been replaced with live plant specimens. Given that villas were to be occupied as of December 2008, we’ve had a long wait for these community sports facilities. Now we are being told to ‘stay off the courts’ with no indication of any time frame for completion. It could have been more helpful if Nakheel had finished some parks before others and informed residents of the spaces available for use. Instead, all parks are advancing at relatively the same pace and we do not know when we may be able to use them.

The most comical part of the message is that safety is a key issue for Nakheel. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice all the open manholes and vacant tree planting cavities. This is a recipe for twisting your ankle or breaking an arm when walking through the parks. I must also comment about traffic safety. Speeding in the community is a constant concern. One lady just wrote about her cat being run over right in front of her house. What if that had been a child? If Nakheel were truly concerned about safety, the traffic lights would be operating (not just flashing yellow), the cross-walk signals would function and the speeding humps would all be completed. I feel justified in making this statement as I personally e-mailed with Nakheel JVT Customer Service on these issues about 2 months ago with little result. Despite this rather annoying deficit of true consideration on the part of Nakheel, I am convinced that JVT will be one of the nicer communities to live in one day.

I have lived in Arabian Ranches and on the Palm. I have visited friends in Green Community, Silicon Oasis, Springs, Meadows, Jumeirah Islands, the Villas and Victory Heights to name a few of the communities I know well. It seems to me that once completed, Jumeirah Village Triangle will be unique from all these other communities. While other locations are beautifully landscaped and almost all have communities pools (the lack of which is a huge disappointment to residents here), JVT has a sprawling layout that connects all corners of the community through a massive main park. Let’s call this ‘JVT Central Park’. It extends through Districts 4, 5, 8 and 9 boasting water features, long green expanses and a running trail. Central Park connects to another long park running through Districts 1, 2, and 3 via a long ‘canal’. The total running distance (or if you prefer, walking) should measure some 6 kilometers as per my rough calculation. This layout lends itself to more community interaction in my opinion. In many neighborhoods (or districts according to the official nomenclature), we also have triangular shaped mini-parks with basketball, tennis or kids play equipment. On another sad note, some of the childrens’ spring-riding animals are already broken and lying on the ground. This highlights Nakheel’s concern for safety very well. One can also hope that these play areas will be shaded at some point given the hot climate we live in. That would seem a basic amenity even to the uninitiated!

As I would like to get to the bottom of what we, as residents, can expect to have in our public facilities, I’ll be meeting the Engineer from Ghantoot responsible for soft and hard landscaping soon. Watch for my upcoming article after my exclusive interview with him.

Regardless of the small problems, things are finally taking shape. Many residents are out in the streets, walking their dogs or playing with their children in the parks. It’s time to finally take advantage of our new parks and sports facilities – even if we are currently banned from doing so!

What do you like best about living in JVT?

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