Although Dubai has one of the harshest climates, with over 50 degrees of heat and between 90-100% humidity during the summer months, there are plenty of lush green havens to escape to. From inner city escapes to sprawling parks and beache, the Government of Dubai has made a concerted effort to provide beautiful green spaces in a city characterized by concrete and glass.
Some are perfect for a quick lunch break, while others are laid out on acres of land and you need a car to drive in and explore.
Below, we take a look at the best parks in Dubai, the facilities they have, and what can be best enjoyed at each location.
This 150-acre park bordered by the Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road, Al Hadiqa Street, and 55th Street is a sight for sore eyes. With striking views of the cityscape beyond, Safa Park has acres of beautifully manicured and painstakingly maintained lawns, as well as a host of trees, shrubs, and plants dotted around the park.
Each road has an entrance to the park, which also contains three lakes and a 3.4km peripheral jogging park. There are numerous facilities including play areas for the children, fountains and waterfalls, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts, as well as a video game parlor for teenagers and bumper car rides.
There is a minimal entry fee charged for use of the park, with additional charges levied for using the tennis courts.
Located right in the heart of Dubai next to the World Trade Center, Zabeel Park is one of Dubai’s largest and busiest parks, especially over the weekends.
Popular with joggers, fitness enthusiasts and families alike, the park offers many facilities including barbeque and picnic areas, play areas, a large lake with boat rides, an amphitheater, an entertainment zone called StarGate for the kids, an ice rink and ice skating area, and plenty of wide open spaces to run around in.
Although the park straddles the busy Sheikh Zayed Road, it is tranquil and serene, particularly on weekdays, and it is hard to imagine that it lies along one of Dubai’s busiest thoroughfares.
Mamzar Beach Park
One of Dubai’s most popular beach parks, Mamzar Park is located along the Mamzar beach on the border of Dubai and Sharjah.
Although a bit of a drive from old town Dubai, this park has 5 beaches as well as a huge swimming pool. It is a great park in which to spend a perfect day with the family, as it has plenty of entertainment areas for the children, small cafes, grocery stores, as well as beachside air-conditioned chalets that can be rented for the day, complete with their own barbeque areas, shower areas, seating, and picnic space.
The downside to this park is that it usually gets overcrowded on weekends and finding a good picnic spot can be hard, even though the park is massive!
Created in 1980 as an international village, Mushrif Park has a distinct local flavor to it. Children will love the international village, which models thirteen different types of traditional houses from across the globe including a Thai house, an English house, a Red Indian Teepee house, and even a toadstool house.
For a taste of Bedouin life, head over to the Bedouin area where you will find a village mocked up with goats, tents, and a water well. Visitors can enjoy camel and horse rides, then head over to the Malik Burger restaurant for some fast food – or bring their own picnic fare to enjoy in one of the many open picnic areas within the park.
Al Barsha Park
One of Dubai’s newer parks, the Al Barsh Park is designed around a manmade lake and has giant ponds with walking and jogging tracks around them. Popular with the local residents, this park is frequented by joggers, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts as it also features fitness machines and basketball courts.
One of the only parks in Dubai to have its own cable car, Creek Park is a beautiful, picturesque green space located alongside the Dubai Creek. This is one of the best family parks, and has a host of activities to keep children entertained.
Apart from the 30-meter high cable car, which runs the entire 2.3km along the creek, the park is also home to the Dubai Dolphinarium where graceful bottlenose dolphins entertain the crowds every day at show time.
The Children’s City Center located inside the park is home to a theater and planetarium, with galleries for educating children on a variety of topics including nature, culture, and computer technology. Aside from these, the park also has several designated barbeque areas, a mini-train, and play areas to make it the perfect picnic destination on weekends.
Al Safa 2 Park
Quite unlike the larger Safa Park, this park is a tiny park situated in a quiet residential neighborhood in Al Safa. The park is open to women and children only on weekdays, making it popular with mums and toddlers.
The park features lots of benches and picnic tables, sandy play areas, as well as miniature basketball, volleyball, and football courts. Although a little hard to find, this park provides a great little retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A welcome relief for the residents of the crowded Satwa area, Satwa Park is located behind Al Moosa Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, and has plenty of green, shaded areas to sit and relax. It also has play areas for children, amenities such as football pitches, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, and a rubberized jogging track for runners.