Things at Al Seef compound are progressing nicely, although progress always seems slow when you're waiting. Here are a few things that have been added, improved or replaced since we moved in mid-February.
- The Pool is now up and running and even has nice sun chairs and umbrellas on the deck. I keep hoping they'll also provide cushions for the chairs, but so far, no luck. Some of us think (hope?) that once they have a full time manager on the premises, the cushions will come. The pool is really nice - very long, so good for laps (if only I swam laps!). One problem, however, a few days ago, it was toxic green ... really bad, couldn't even see the bottom. Three days later it's back to blue and only a little hazy, but I'm still a little afraid to jump in - how exactly do you go from toxic green to clear blue so quickly? I doubt very much they drained it, cleaned it and refilled it.
- The roads have been completed, then torn up again and then completed a second time. Not sure why as the first roads seemed perfectly fine. Rumor has it the Sheikh who owns the compound didn't like the first bricks so had the whole thing redone. It was a total pain too as every day you had to take a different route out of the place (and usually didn't figure that out before having to back up and turn around). That and the sound of the cement cutter they use was about to drive me bonkers - super high pitched whine and it would go on all day long! But it's all done now and looks just great.
- In addition to the new roads, they've added speed bumps (they call them speed humps here) so no one can go zooming through the compound, which is good. And they've painted lines, numbers for the parking spots and painted all the curbs. Looks really good.
- And we now have a lighted sign with the name of the compound on it, which helps tremendously for deliveries! There is a front and back entrance to the compound, each with a nice sign. Only the back entrance is functional for now as they are doing work on the main road outside the main entrance. And, unfortunately, that road work seems to be taking forever so I'm guessing it'll be another 2-3 months before we can use the front entrance.
- We also now have garbage cans outside each building, which is so much nicer than leaving your trash outside the door and having it ravaged by the stray cats. No recycling yet, but I'm still hopeful. There have been a lot of articles in the paper about saving water, so I'm hoping recycling is right around the corner. We're close enough to Masdar city, that I'm hoping the idea of sustainability will spill over. :)
- They also recently brought in some huge planters, that are positioned around the courtyards, but don't have anything in them. I'm guessing they'll add some plants at some point, but for now we just have the large planters.
- The BBQ area now has a kids play set and picnic tables. No grills, so I'm not sure if that's still part of the plan or not - time will tell.
- And the most exciting development is that they delivered the gym equipment 2 days ago! We've been anxiously awaiting completion of the gym and it looks like they're finally making some progress. The area is still locked - I suppose they have to set everything where they want it, get the electricity and air working and test everything out, but I'm really hoping within the next week, we'll be able to use the gym.
- They've also been doing some quality checks on our back patio garden area, which is good because some of the impatiens have died off in the heat. They've taken them out and I assume they'll be back to plant replacements or something different for the summer. They rang the bell this morning at 7am, but Brian told them to come back later - 7 is a bit early to drop in unannounced in my opinion!
So, things are going well and improving day by day. Most of the construction now seems to be complete now that the roads are done, so the whole compound is a lot quieter, which is really nice. There are plans for another compound and a shopping mall on either side of us, so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before different construction starts up, but for now, we'll enjoy a little of the peace and quiet and a bit less dust!