Whether you’re a stroller or a jogger, or just want to relax with a good book and the breeze in your hair, Dubai’s green spaces have you covered.
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For Dubai’s earliest settlers, the idea of having a patch of grass to sprawl out on must have seemed about as alien as pounding down a motorway in a Lamborghini.
But as the sands of time have passed, more and more parks have sprung up across the city like little oases in the desert, bringing with them an array of activities to keep residents from all walks of life happy.
Jarvis Cocker might have once sang “My favourite parks are car parks”, but on this occasion, we’d have to disagree with the Pulp frontman. Welcome to Green Dubai.
Set in the centre of old Dubai, this park is one of the oldest in the emirate. And with an area of around 96 hectares, it’s also one of the city’s largest. Since it’s right on the edge of the Creek, you can get to it by boat, which is a bit of a novelty.
There’s plenty to do here. Wander around and enjoy all the greenery, or admire the views of the skyline. You can rent bikes, for Dhs20 to Dhs40, or get around the park on a small train – which will make you feel like a giant. Don’t forget to take a picnic, or even a barbecue – you can spark up the grills here, too.
If that’s not enough for you, the park’s also home to Dubai Dolphinarium, as well as Children’s City, a cluster of buildings right in the centre of the park, that has been designed for kids aged between two and 15 years old. It gives them the chance to learn about everything from the human body to space. It costs Dhs10 to Dhs15 to get in, and there’s a planetarium, a theatre and workshops in there to keep the little ones occupied.
For the older kids among you, there’s also a cable car (yes, you read that right), which runs for around 2km along the length of the park at a height of 30m. It gives you a bird’s-eye view of the sprawling green space, as well as the Creek and even further afield if the weather’s good. And all for the bargain price of Dhs25.
Now that the weather is glorious, round up your troops and hit the great outdoors.
Dhs5 (entry fee).
With a choice of four beaches, along with large lawns, sports pitches and a small skate park, this place provides a fun day out for all the family. Pack a picnic or nab a barbecue spot for a cheap lunch before working off your food with a stroll or a ride in one of the pedal karts for hire. It might seem like a bit of a mission, being as it is on the Sharjah border, but we promise you, it’s well worth the effort. The park has toilets, changing rooms and food and beverage outlets. For extra privacy, you can even hire a chalet for the day from just Dhs150.
Dhs5 per person, Dhs30 per car.
This small community square offers a welcome spot of nature amid the hustle and bustle of busy Deira. The plaza is laid out with paths converging on a central paved area, with grass and trees in between and plenty of benches. The place is full of visitors taking a break from work nearby, or parents out with small children.
Facilities: The park has a 400m running track, which is mainly used by power walkers, and runs around the circumference of the park. Barbecues, shisha and cycling are not allowed.
Shops or kiosks: No.
Nature: Plenty of birds.
Pets allowed? No.
The location of this park seems a little odd, wedged in the corner where two roads meet. A sign at the entrance reads ‘families and residents only’, but it’s hard to know which residents. Nevertheless, you’ll still find plenty of families with kids, joggers and the like.
Facilities: Adequate parking, playgrounds, a cushioned running track that skirts the park’s pond as well as some basic exercise equipment.
Shops or kiosks: None.
Toilets: Yes, including a water fountain offering free drinking water.
Nature: Grassy lawns, flower beds and a scattering of trees. The park’s pond, though, is fenced off, so if you’re looking to skim stones or row on the lake, you’ll be disappointed.
Pets allowed? No.
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