Abu Dhabi’s parks and gardens offer a great alternative to those who want to spend a few peaceful hours away from the buzz of the city. Picnicking at weekend is a favourite pastime in the emirate, with families and friends filling the parks at weekends.
There are different parks spread out in Abu Dhabi city such as Garden, Al Nahyan Garden, Capital Gardens, Khalidiyah Garden, Old Airport Garden, Khalifa Park and Al Mushrif Children’s Park.
Abu Dhabi municipal government intends to revitalise the neighbourhood Al Rahba, by implementing a redevelopment project for a park.
The Al Sharia park redevelopment project is part of the capital’s “commitment to upgrade the calibre of service facilities and to raise the bar on the standards of parks and recreational gardens to bring them in line with world-class standards”, Abu Dhabi Municipality said.
The park – currently a ladies-only amenity with a couple of dozen parking spaces – is situated between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the eastern side of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Highway (E11).
The plan is to transform the site into a family-orientated park with a vast range of attractions.
Stand-out features will include a blue “bio-dome” accompanied by 50,000 square metres of amenities. Amenities will include festival halls, retail outlets, air-conditioned markets, restaurants, pools, a children’s water park, and cafes.
The construction of the “Sheikh Zayed Heritage Yard” will depict the story of the Sharia Park.
The park will become a location for recreational activities such as horse riding, falconry and desert biking as well as providing an all-women’s pool and gym, playgrounds, and camping and barbecue areas.
There will also be a boutique hotel with chalets, villas, a gym, spa, meeting rooms and banquet halls. The new facilities will be integrated with the current park’s fruit orchards, trees, and native flora and fauna.
Municipal officials said that they hoped the park – expected to cover an area of about 380,000 square metres – would serve more than 100,000 residents in neighbouring communities.
“The aim of the project is to rejuvenate and revive Sharia Park with its rich tradition, rendering it a key attractive recreational destination and a unique facility in Abu Dhabi Emirate in particular and the UAE in general,” the municipality said.
Across the road from the site, a hotel manager expressed support for the project, saying it could lead to economic development in the area. With the park, he said he hoped a more consistent stream of visitors would begin to flow into the area.
Two months ago, the government made a request for the submission of tenders for companies to get on board with the park’s development. It said it was offering the private sector opportunities in the park’s funding, construction, and operation. The deadline for bids is September 29.
As part of its long term vision for the capital, Abu Dhabi City Municipality has upgraded infrastructure and recreational facilities with a number of high profile projects. In March, a revamped Mushrif Central Park was reopened after a two-year, Dh179 million redevelopment.