Dubai, UAE: Senior citizens and others who exercise regularly at a park along the Dubai Creek in Bur Dubai are crying foul over repeated attempts by municipality staff to stop them from using the manicured greens for their daily regimen.
Community members from the neighbourhood said the new “rules” were like a bolt from the blue as they have been using the park for walking, jogging and yoga for years.
“We used to do our yoga and laughter exercises on the grass for around two hours. But now we are being forced to do it outside the park under the hot sun” – Ganasham G.S., a 66-year-old Indian resident
“Now, suddenly without any notice, we are being shunted out and being told that we will be fined Dh500 if we don’t comply,” said an elderly man who has been exercising in the park for over 10 years.
“Most of us are senior citizens and have health concerns. The park is cool and we used to do our yoga and laughter exercises on the grass for around two hours. But now we are being forced to do it outside the park under the hot sun,” said Ganasham G.S., a 66-year-old Indian resident.
“Why are we being targeted? We don’t disturb anyone or dirty the place like the kids who use the area in the evenings,” said Rukmani, a 62-year-old housewife who has been using the park for the last two years.
When XPRESS visited the park, some 15-20 residents were doing their laughter exercises in the concrete area outside the park. “It is too hot here and we are dreading the coming months when it will get hotter,” said I.L. Moolani, 75.
“We appeal to the authorities to let us continue our exercises in peace,” said Subhangi, 62.
Sharon, 45, claimed the civic staff informed her that the park is meant only for aesthetic purposes, not for exercises. “This is so unreasonable. As it is there are few areas where we can exercise in Dubai. These options are being further narrowed down. They are asking us to go to Zabeel Park or Safa Park for our morning exercises when we live here within walking distance.”
A man in his early 50s who has been using the park for jogging for six years, said he is shifting to Zabeel Park as he is fed up with people interrupting his exercise at the Creek. “Looks like I have no choice but it’s so unfair,” he said.
An immediate comment was not available from Dubai Municipality on what the new rules were.
© Gulf NewsMay 2012