Many would be surprised that Dubai actually has substantial bits of greenery, which is a rare oasis in the desert. With beach culture in full swing all year round, people often forget about the lovely parks that the city has to offer. So if you are tired of the sand, grab your sun lounger and towel and chill out at one of these parks for a change.
Jumeirah Beach Park
The Jumeirah Beach Park is one that it is always packed. If lively is something you are after, then this is the perfect place to hang out with friends. It is also a great place to people watch; many groups from Dubai’s multi-cultural mix congregate here. There is a kiosk, a barbecue area, and a kids play area.
04 349 2555 Open Sunday through Wednesday 8 to 10:30 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
Dubai’s largest and oldest park, the 500-hectare park has long sand plains coupled with the occasional bout of green grass in the form of islands. World village, a group of small houses reflecting architecture from all over the world, makes its home on these islands of grass. There is also a nearby aviary with all sorts of birds, a wooden jungle gym, merry-go-rounds, a flying-camel ride (there is also the real grounded animal available for rides), and a swinging pirate ship. Overall there is a lot to do. But if you just want a bit of rest and relaxation, take your lawn chair and go to one of the park’s 26 shaded picnic areas which also include barbecue grills and 1950s Mushrif-style swimming pools.
04 288 3624 Saturday through Wednesday 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Thursday through Friday 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.
One of the oldest and largest green spaces in Dubai, Safa Park is always an enjoyable visit. You can take your time to walk along the grass, sunbathe, have a picnic, and explore the other nooks and crannies that the park has to offer. There is lake with small boats, a canal, a waterfall, and lovely shaded area with trees. The park also has a train which rides through the gardens, four-seater bicycles for hire, a range of sports facilities, a nice cafe, and a children’s amusement park. What could be missing?
04 349 2111 Open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Located at the Creek end of Sheikh Zayed road, this park is complete with an amphitheater, a large lake where you can hire a boat for 40 Dirhams for a 20 minute ride, a 4.3 km jogging track, a cricket patch, and an adventure playground for children. There are plenty of large patches of greenery with cooking areas. One of the gems of this park is watching the sun go down behind the Emirates Towers at dusk.
04 398 6888 Saturday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Creekside Park is one of Dubai’s best parks. It has an amphitheater, picnic areas, playgrounds, and beautiful waterfront views of the city. You can hire a four-seater bicycle for 30 Dirhams and peddle around the greenery and attractions. There are also cable cars for 25 Dirhams. Like most beaches and parks in Dubai, the place gets quite crowded on Fridays but unlike other areas it has the space to accommodate the masses.
04 336 7633 Open daily 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.