Green solution for sustainable cities in arid zone

MUSCAT/SALALAH: Every challenge has some solution if you have strong will to counter it. Maintaining greenery in arid climate is one such challenge that needs determination, planning and proper implementation. Naser M Ahmed, co-founder of Proscape Group, took up this challenge some 30 years ago and gave an entirely new dimension to greenery in the GCC countries where landscaping is one of the major requirements for any development. He is a pioneer in offering smart green solution in whole of the GCC.
In an interview with the Observer, Naser Ahmed hailed Oman’s topography as one of the best in the GCC and called this as a great gift of nature to a country which gives immense importance to environment and nature care. “In most of the places, landscape planning is an arduous task because we have to plan in a way so that the landscaping looks natural and matches with the theme of the project. In Oman we do plan but the country’s beautiful natural setting adds value to the aesthetics of the place and the concept,” he said.
He, however, feels that there is a huge potential to improve the country’s landscaping with right planning and right selection of plants.
“It should have proper planning, theme based and most importantly it should be sustainable for years. Proper maintenance is also required, as there is pattern of pruning for every particular plant species. Whole lot of work has been done on landscaping and if done by professional planners, the plan proves economical because wears and tears is less and there is guarantee for sustainability,” he said.

A qualified civil engineer, Naser Ahmed developed interest in plantation during his stint as head of landscaping and irrigation department in Engineer’s Office in Dubai. He has emerged as an expert in offering smart green solutions to cities in all the GCC countries.
“In Oman we have done important projects like Seeb sea front corniche development, landscaping works of RCA club house in Athaiba, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Ateen Pathway and Ateen Oasis Parks near Al Magabi restaurants, Salalah and many others,” he said.
To address the issue of scarcity of plants in the arid zone countries, Naser Ahmed has acquired a big piece of land in India, grew the trees there as long as seven to eight years and supplied them as full grown trees to the projects spread all over the GCC countries.
He has set up a big nurseries in Oman (near Sawadi) and UAE too, where he keeps all sorts of full grown plants to use them as ready solution for projects which need to be developed on urgent basis with complete landscaping.
He finds Salalah a good location to produce plants for landscaping due to good quality soil for vegetation, relatively less hot and availability of water in some areas. “It, however, needs to be assessed and then judged because doing something on commercial scale requires proper survey and planning,” he said.