Picnic time is calling out
Picnic time is calling out By Manjari Saxena, Staff Reporter, and Layla Haroon, Special to Explore
GULF NEWS Published: December 22, 2007, 00:23
Nature is decked out in its best. So what are you doing sitting indoors? Pick a cool spot to enjoy during this lovely time
Nature is making its presence felt with red, gold and green spread out all over the UAE. The weather is perfect.
And our photographers go “trigger-happy” this time of the year, capturing people who’ve been making the best use of the cool weather by becoming one with nature.
The extended Eid break may be over, but the weather — and the colours — will be around for another couple of months.
So, for those who were travelling during the holidays or stayed at home due to the heavy traffic in the greener areas in and around Dubai — and, of course, for those who cannot get enough of the season — we provide our pick of picnic spaces and pack a hamper for you .
Mushrif Park, Dubai
Far from the madding crowd, the 400-hectare Mushrif Park is not just another green space.
Along with the usual children’s play area, a train, leisure games and barbecue areas, the park also offers swimming facilities. Entry fee is Dh10 for cars; swimming fee is Dh10 for adults and Dh5 for children.
Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai
Opened in 1989, the Jumeirah Beach Park, as the name suggests, is a combination of a pristine beach and park with beautiful landscaping.
You can either bring a hamper or cook on-site in the barbecue areas of the park and beach. In the evenings, you can stroll on some of the lovely walking areas in the park.
Entry fee is Dh5 per person and Dh20 per car.
Enjoy a day at the Hatta Rock Pools, nestled in the Hajjar Mountains, amid rippling waterfalls and turquoise pools.
Another place to check out while in the oasis is the Heritage Village.
Green Mubazzarah, Al Ain
Al Ain is known as the Garden City of the UAE, as it has many public parks.
Located at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, the garden provides recreational activities such as desert safaris, sand skiing, abseiling, rope climbing, camping and hiking on scenic trails.
The place also has bowling, snooker and billiard centres. Free sheds, with benches and barbeque stands, are provided.
Ain Al Faydah, Al Ain
Situated around a lake created by underground springs at the foot of Jebel Hafeet Mountain and surrounded by jagged cliffs, the Ain Al Faydah picnic resort offers everything from ten-pin bowling to swimming pools.
Besides enjoying a boat ride on the lake, you can spread a blanket and sit in the beautifully manicured gardens or pitch a ball in the playground.
Central Gardens, Al Ain
This is one of the largest parks that helps brand Al Ain as the “Garden City”. A musical dancing fountain attracts large numbers of visitors.
Equipped with a large playground, it offers an adventurous picnic deal with wall climbing, grass skiing and other activities.
Sharjah National Park
This is the largest park in Sharjah. The park boasts a miniature City of Sharjah with models of the most prominent buildings.
Facilities and entertainment include barbecue area, children’s play areas, a duck pond, a giant slide, a cycle track with a horror tunnel and an infrared beam to squirt water on unsuspecting cyclists.
You can also skate on Rollerblades. Entry is free.
Jazeerah Park, Sharjah
Located in the Khalid Lagoon, as the name suggests, the park is an island and is one of the most popular tourist spots in Sharjah.
The facilities include an amusement park for children, a mini zoo, swimming pools, an artificial waterfall and train rides.
The park offers some stunning views of the Blue Souq, Corniche and the Sharjah fountain. Entry is Dh5 for adults and Dh2 for children.
Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi
A barren, man-made island in front of Abu Dhabi’s coastline serves as a scenic and peaceful picnic spot.
With its lovely beach, this place is a hub for water sport aficionados.
It has two restaurants, four coffee shops, two stretches of beach on the northern and southern part of the island, changing rooms, cafeterias, two artificial freshwater lakes, mosques and a duned area.
You can cook, play and swim. A short boat ride (free of charge) takes you from the Abu Dhabi Breakwater to the Heritage Village. Entry is Dh15 per person. Children under five are admitted free.
Shaikh Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi
With its distinctive architectural design and landscaping, the Khalifa Park is the newest recreational landmark in the city.
It has an area dedicated for women and children — with a swimming pool and an amphitheatre, all linked by a train.
An aquarium, marine museum, a historical museum and a monorail time tunnel are added attractions. Entry is Dh5 per person.
Bedouin Village, Abu Dhabi
Also known as the Heritage Village, the Bedouin Village allows a glimpse of the simple pre-oil-era nomadic life of Abu Dhabi.
Original artefacts are kept here along with permanent structures such as the ruler’s mud-brick house, amid a traditional mosque and souq.
For those interested in a traditional get together, a picnic plan to the village is a must. Admission is free.
Other places to picnic in
Dubai Creek Park
Mumzar Beach Park, Dubai
Safa Park, Dubai
Zabeel Park, Dubai
Dubai Creek Park
Umm Suqueim beach, Dubai
Buheira Corniche, Sharjah
Al Khan Corniche, Sharjah
Al Khan Beach, Sharjah
Qanat Al Qasba, Sharjah
Public beaches in Khor Fakkan, Sharjah
Public beaches in Fujairah
Al Hili Fun City, Al Ain
Al Hili Gardens, Al Ain
Al Ain Zoo
Heritage Park, Abu Dhabi