Ring road revives interest in one of Makkah’s oldest districts

Household garbage dumped in one of the open plots in Al-Akeishia district of Makkah.

Household garbage dumped in one of the open plots in Al-Akeishia district of Makkah.

MAKKAH — The high demand for residential plots in Al-Akeishia district in south Makkah has not translated into an improvement in basic municipal services provided to residents of the district, which is considered to be one the oldest districts of the holy city.

The roads in Al-Akeishia are narrow, bumpy and full of potholes. Empty plots of land are scattered throughout the entire district, indicating bad planning and disorganization.

Some residents say the district is beyond the concern of the city authorities and accuse the Al-Shawqiyah branch municipality of not fulfilling its duty toward Al-Akeishia residents.

With the construction of the fourth ring road, which passes eastward from the northern part of the district toward the Jeddah Expressway in the west, real estate prices have jumped to unprecedented levels. Yet, despite the interest shown by investors, residents say their district is ignored by the municipality.

Muhammad Al-Hadhli said residents are suffering due to lack of vital services despite the ideal location of the district, which forms convergence point for people coming from the south, Jeddah and Taif.

Atiyatallah Al-Fahmi, another resident of the district, said many residents’ cars have been damaged due to the poor condition of the roads.

He also said municipal cleaners rarely come to the district and garbage bags are strewn everywhere.

“Despite Makkah witnessing a number of development projects, the authorities concerned have just passed through the district.

They have ignored developing it as it is an unplanned district. We demand the authorities concerned provide all utility services and development projects similar to the other districts of Makkah,” said long-time resident Ahmad Yamani.

According to resident Muhammad Al-Qarihi, there has been an improvement in services to the neighborhood but there is still more needed to be done.

“Earlier, our houses were next to the main garbage dump and there were pools of waste water everywhere.

These matters have been solved. But now there is a standstill regarding the services that suit a district in Makkah. The district needs organization and planning,” he said.

Responding to the complaints, spokesman for Makkah Municipality Osama Zaitooni said further development of the district is in the pipeline.

He added that development will cover all of Makkah’s planned and unplanned districts.


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