Do you need a break in the city? Or do you just want to get fit for free? Relax on a piece of green with our practical guide. Don’t forget your picnic basket and sunscreen …
Quranic Park is a brand new attraction in Dubai and welcomes visitors. The Quranic Park in Al Khawaneej is designed to provide a better cultural and educational understanding of the Islamic heritage and at the same time be a fun place for children, families and those who want to learn more about the Holy Quran.
The park stretches over 60 hectares, but has two main attractions within the room that provide visitors with brilliant and intelligent insight into the different areas of the Holy Quran: the Cave of Miracles and the Glass House
Aside from the beautiful greenery in the greenhouse, which is scattered throughout the park, there are flowering plants, flowers, and trees, and there are also orchards. The orchards are located in various places in the park. However, look for signs with golden Arabic calligraphy that point you in the right direction.
On one corner of the park you will find the One Coffee House, a quaint café with friendly staff that serves coffee, chocolates and desserts.
Right next to the café is a small playground for the little ones, where you can let off steam while you fill up.
Quranic Park, Al Khawaneej, near Mushrif Park in Dubai, daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dhs5 to enter the attractions.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Mamzar is an unsung hero in Dubai’s parks and a secluded gem. Majestically situated on a promontory at the mouth of Khor al-Mamzar near Sharjah, it is both a lush park and a pristine beach in one.
It stretches over 99 hectares and includes four beaches, a large well-tended meadow, swimming pools, an amphitheater, children’s playgrounds, basketball courts and areas for football and volleyball. If you want, you can even rent a cabin or take a cruise on the park’s extensive network of cycle paths. With 1,600 palm trees and 300 coconut palms, shade is also the order of the day.
Two highlights, however, are the park’s 28 barbecue areas and a 3m long concrete half-pipe, which is very popular with the city’s skateboarding community. Anyone with a child who is keen on kick-flips and ollies will appreciate the draw.
Small kiosks with drinks, ice cream, and various treats are scattered around the park, but picnics and barbecues are the main attraction.
Al Khaleej Street, Al Mamzar, Sunday to Wednesday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday (and on public holidays) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dh5 per person, Dhs30 per car.
Al Barsha pond park
Don’t be put off by the compact size of one of the smaller parks in Dubai. There is a lot to experience, not least the large, man-made central lake around which it was built.
For starters, there’s a cushioned 1.5-kilometer run and an accompanying bike path, both of which surround the lake. You can also rent basketball courts, fitness equipment, bicycles, children’s playgrounds, bouncy castles and pedal boats.
In fact, if your motivation is to get fit, you could do far worse than make Al Barsha Pond Park a regular hangout. There are tennis courts, soccer fields and volleyball courts, all of which can be booked in the local office.
Of course, no park would be complete without picnic areas and greenery, and Al Barsha Pond Park has everything you need. A relaxing green space in the urban area of Barsha, fresh date palms, a variety of trees and flowers, a couple of children’s rides and a beautiful fountain. There are also small kiosks near the entrance that sell popcorn and soft drinks.
In addition to Al Barsha Mall, Al Barsha 2, daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., free of charge.
Creek Park is located between the Garhoud and Maktoum bridges in a quiet location on the edge of Dubai Creek. It’s hard to beat the locations.
Magnificent green meadows, botanical gardens, children’s playgrounds, train rides, barbecue areas, restaurants and burger stalls are just the beginning. One of the largest parks in Dubai has a variety of unique attractions. There is a mini golf course and a go-kart track, a paved promenade and a theater, as well as the park’s own cable car. The 30-meter-high park stretches over a length of 2.3 kilometers and offers a wonderful view of the skyline of the old town of Dubai.
Umm Hurair 2, Sun to Wed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu to Saturday (and on public holidays) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Dhs5.
Mushrif Park opened in 1974 and is the true forefather of Dubai’s parks. Rather a national park than a normal picnic spot in a green area, all other Dubai recreation areas are pale in comparison when it comes to scale. It even includes a 35,000 square meter Ghaf tree forest.
More than 70,000 trees have been planted here on more than 5.25 square kilometers. In fact, it is so big that you can actually drive through it. There is a five-kilometer hiking, biking and jogging path as well as two 25-meter swimming pools and basketball, volleyball and handball courts.
For many, however, the highlight is the Aventura nature park. This high ropes course is located in the middle of the forest of Ghaf trees and offers everything from zip lines to challenges on the high ropes course. You can choose from more than 85 challenges of different ages and levels of difficulty, with the routes being divided into five different levels – from the ground to the height of the trees. It also contains the longest line of zip lines in the region. The tickets are separate from the entrance fee to the park.
Like all other parks, Mushrif also offers children’s playgrounds, barbecue areas, restaurants and canteens, but also a train ride, an equestrian center and camel rides. There is also a World Village with 13 models of traditional houses, including a traditional German house bar and an ornate Thai house.
Al Khawaneej Street, Mirdif, Sun to Wed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu to Sat (and public holidays) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Dhs3, Dhs10 per car.
Safa Park, a favorite of Dubai that first opened in 1975, is smaller than it used to be, but still has a certain feel for the city center.
The hotel is located right on Sheikh Zayed Road and is beautifully landscaped with lakes, trees, more than 200 species of birds and great views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Water Canal. The latter now cuts through one side of the park and is largely responsible for its smaller size. A certain percentage of the green space has been lost, and the art library and Café The Archive have disappeared, along with much of their sports facilities. Only the basketball courts are now used actively.
What remains is a joy. The barbecue areas and playgrounds are among the best in the city, while around 80 percent of the park is covered with lawns. As such, it’s perfect for picnics and social gatherings. Freshly Ground Sounds, an independent music initiative, has given concerts there in the past, while the park was once home to the hugely popular Dubai Flea Market, which has since moved to Zabeel Park.
One of the biggest attractions, however, is the 3.5 km spongy running track that stretches along the park area. It is a favorite among Dubai’s running community and can hardly be surpassed as a scenic running route.
Al Wasl Road and Al Hadiqa Street, Sun to Wed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu to Sat (and on public holidays) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Dhs3.
The Zabeel Park has developed well in recent years. It is no longer just a green space with the usual amenities, but has developed into an independent, technology-oriented travel destination of the 21st century. As such, it is now considered one of the most important and outstanding projects in the city of Dubai.
It is 45 soccer fields in size and is remarkably quiet considering it’s close to some of Dubai’s busiest crossroads. There are BBQ and picnic areas, restaurants and boat trips, a jogging path and fitness center, botanical and horticultural areas, and a cricket ground that can be booked for games.
However, this is only the beginning. There are three different zones – the Alternative Energy Zone, the Communications Zone and the Techno Zone – all of which are technology-based and offer educational and interactive exhibits. There is also Dubai Garden Glow with its animatronic dinosaurs and the glow in the dark garden, which consists of 10 million energy-saving lamps and yards of recycled fluorescent material.
Last but not least, there is the Dubai Frame, the striking architectural landmark of the city. It offers incredible views of old and new Dubai and is a truly remarkable spectacle. With a height of 150 meters, it has a glass floor along most of the 93-meter bridge. So if you have dizziness, you may have trouble walking on the glass. The best solution? Don’t look down.
Zabeel district, near the Al Jafiliya subway station, Sun to Wed 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu to Sat (and public holidays) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dhs5.
Since it is illegal to keep your dog on a leash, Bark Park is a paradise for pet owners. The desert park is a completely fenced, clean and private area where dogs can train and let off steam. It is certified and approved by the Dubai government.
It is divided into areas for small and large dogs so that all dogs can play and explore without being intimidated by their larger counterparts, and it is well lit at night, which is an added bonus.
Facilities include a large, chlorine-free pool for large dogs, a cooling pool for smaller dogs, mobility equipment and obstacles, shaded areas to relax, and a shop where you can stock up on all your favorite four-legged items.
Bark Park Dubai, Al Awir, just outside of Dubai, daily from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., 50 dhs on weekdays, 75 dhs on weekends. barkparkdubai.com
X Park Jr.
X Park Jnr is the perfect place for family-friendly outdoor fun and is specially designed for children. Located in close proximity to Kite Beach, it is described as a “natural forest-style play area created to bring children closer to mother nature.”
The forest-inspired room is filled with trees, plants, streams, a few friendly chickens, ducks and goats, as well as tree houses, wooden bridges, climbing nets, a mud kitchen, and sandy areas – so be ready to spray the little ones before you get back in the car after an afternoon sit!
X Park Jr., 35A Mizmelah St in the immediate vicinity of Kite Beach, Dubai, Saturday to Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dhs80 for two hours for a child, accompanied by up to two hours, then Dhs30 per hour. xparkjr.com
Dubai Police Academy Park
Adjacent to the Dubai Police Academy is the Dubai Police Academy Park near Umm Sequim Street. Here you can take a stroll through the city without having to drive too far outside the city.
While it’s a quiet place all week, it’s busy on weekends thanks to the arrival of The Ripe Market, which returns on October 25th. The Ripe Market takes place every Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. There are a number of stalls where market visitors can see everything from organic fruit and vegetables to freshly baked bread to stalls with colorful dresses, cute beach towels, eclectic handmade jewelry, hand-painted art, handicrafts and much more.
When it comes to entertainment, The Ripe Market offers the whole family yoga classes, children’s activities, a petting zoo, horse riding, workshops and live music.
Soon there will also be a special dog park called “Unleashed”, so you can take your four-legged friends with you for an entertaining family day.
The mature market, Dubai Police Academy Park, Umm Suqeim Street, Dubai, starts on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th. Tel: (04) 315 7000. ripeme.com
– To get the best of Dubai straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.
Images: Getty / Delivered