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Everything you want to know about Mushrif Central Park in Abu Dhabi
We were one of the first to experience the beauty of Mushrif Central Park, a lush green hotspot that has been re-opened last week end after almost three years of rehabilitation and several years of planning.
Overview of the Park
This new public space is so huge (14,5 hectares) and proposes so many educational and recreational activities that we have prepared an overview below of all the different components this new community hub has to offer.
No doubt Abu Dhabi residents will enjoy this new central park as it has so much to do including- play, rest, walk, exercise, relax, eat and drink, entertain and educate.
So, read on to discover for yourself what it is all about.
The Shade House and The Botanic Garden
Impressive by its size, the metallic structure will soon become an icon especially at night with the lighting effect. Housing different varieties of plants, it reminds us of the fabulous Gardens by The Bay in Singapore. Visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view on the park from two different decks inside the Shade House. Parents with strollers can also enjoy the view from above as there is a lift taking visitors to the decks.
Beside the shade house, you will find the Botanic Garden with a different atmosphere. It looks like an oasis, with its rocky area, natural pond and plenty cactaceae and desert plants.
The Animal Barn
The new residents in the park are housed in a petting zoo and include a camel, a baby goat and more animals. This barn promises to have great success among the little ones. Just be aware that kids can visit the barn after 11:30 am only as the early morning is dedicated to the daily cleaning.
The Wadi Water Feature
This is another spot that will rank high in the kids top list. The little explorers will adore playing hide and seek around this area designed as a wadi with rocks to climb and traditional desert tents around to take some rest inside.
The amphitheatre venue facing the entrance of the park is a large outdoor performing arts venue that will be able to accomodate over 1,000 people and support cultural events, concerts, movies, theatre shows and more. We are totally impressed by the curved construction of the amphitheatre that you best enjoy from the top deck of the Shade House.
The Great Lawn
This is probably one of the area that kids will enjoy most as first it is a huge lawn where kids can play, run, bring their kites and enjoy and secondly it is also surrounded by two different playgrounds. We especially liked the one with cubes to climb on, with its exercise station, and fun sensorial activities (mirrors, music, etc).
Parents who want to rest can just borrow one of the colorful cushions spread around the lawn, and enjoy relaxing outdoors while kids spend their energy running and playing around. We also liked the picnic tables and benches all around the park with trees beside them providing a welcoming shade. It is apparently forbidden to bring your own picnic but there are different stalls open all day long (10am to 10pm) to buy some refreshments, food and ice creams.
The 460 m long promenade takes you to the two extreme sides of the park and is surrounded by mature palm trees. The middle of the promenade features a thin stream and kids can discover copper fish placed at the bottom of the stream.
An outdoor movie lawn
Check the program when visiting the park at the information desk as there will be regular outdoor family movie screenings. During the inaugural weekend, kids could enjoy watching Madagascar 2 at specific timings.
The Wisdom Garden
Centrally located in the park and facing the entrance pavillion is the Memorial to Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the UAE. Vertical black granite panels with arches allowing visitors to walk around and discover the memorial center and the palm trees, pond and stones symbolizing the Al Ain oasis.
Spend some time reading the quotes from Sheikh Zayed engraved in Arabic on the panels and washed by water sliding vertically on the panels. We are fond of the architectural details such as the Islamic geometric pattern of the stepping stones. A pure delight for the eyes and a peaceful place with the sound of the waterfall in the background.
The Saturday Market
For market lovers, there now is another option to hang out on Saturdays late afternoons. Every week, from 4pm to 9pm, there will be many vendors located near the promenade leading to the Evening Garden proposing food, art, fashion, jewels, home decor accessories, organic veggies and fruits to purchase.
During this first weekend, there already was a friendly and casual atmosphere at the Ripe Market and we just loved the lanterns hanging from the trees, outdoor concert while sitting on colorful chairs and having a drink and a bite at one of the many food stalls around.
The Evening Garden
If a park is synonym to calm and peaceful moments with a nice book or newspaper, Mushrif Central Park has you covered. Way off the center, after walking along the promenade on the left side, you head to the evening garden which looks very quiet and intimate. The perfect spot to read your latest novel outdoors.
The Flower Garden
Park Station Cafe
This is the last feature we couldn’t resist mentioning. This new cafe located inside the park proposes a gorgeous decor with a distinct fifties atmosphere thanks to the furniture. The floral decor is just awesome and probably the niciest we have seen till now in the Capital. The cafe is open daily from 10am to 10pm.
Heritage and sustainability
The initial park had been created in 1982 and was opened to women and kids only. Now open to all, daily from 10am to 10pm, it’s interesting to mention that about 200 trees which were in the park before the renovation have been replanted throughout the park. Welcome back in the city!
The upcoming Friday Souk
The map shows a spot called the Friday Souk located in front of the park that may start after summer.
Mushif Central Park in Abu Dhabi
Fees : 5 AED per person – free for kids under 3 years old
Open daily from 8am to 10pm
Tel : +971 2 666 95 59
Website : http://www.mushrifcentralpark.ae/
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