If you head for Al Sowwah Island just off the eastern coast of Abu Dhabi city, make sure you follow signboards carrying the name Al Maryah. For that island is no longer Al Sowwah after its name was changed by Abu Dhabi Municipality.
Officials said they have already started changing the name on the signboards from Sowwah to Al Maryah following a decision by authorities to name the island after a famous oasis with deer in the western region near Liwa.
“The decision to change the name is to underscore the economic and construction significance of that island which is undergoing massive development,” the Municipality said in a statement.
Al Sowa, now officially Al Maryah, is a 114-hectare island site located on the eastern side of Abu Dhabi Island. To the east of the Island lies Al Reem Island which is currently planed for a large mixed use development
Al Sowa is a mixed-use residential, retail, leisure, hotel and commercial development in the heart of Abu Dhabi. It is designated by the emirate's Urban Planning Council to be the capital's Central Business District (CBD).
The Island will feature a comprehensive transport system that integrates every aspect of the island into the capital’s road, rail and air infrastructure.
Thirteen bridges will link the island with the region's national and international transport network. Abu Dhabi airport is 30 minutes distance by road and Dubai around 60 minutes away. A mass transit system will connect commercial and residential areas of the city by metro and Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines.
“The new name of the island illustrates the deep culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi as Al Mariah is an old green oasis which is home to hundreds of Arabian deer called Al Mariah…over the past centuries, the oasis had been rich in water, birds and various types of animals…it has also seen many civilizations which reflect the rich culture and heritage of the emirate.”