New Abu Dhabi park to promote sustainability, economic diversity
A new park aiming to achieve sustainability and economic diversity will open in Abu Dhabi in 2018.
The $25.59 million project, which started in June 2016 and is slated for completion in July 2018, includes an upgrade of Khalidiya Ladies Park into Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Park by international architectural firm Benoy.
The new park is set to be "a new type of space that bridges a gap between a traditional park format and a more modern, engaging space," according to Paul Priest, director and head of Benoy's Mena Studios.
Featuring an urban forest of tropical trees and a backdrop reminiscent of Abu Dhabi's heritage and culture, the park will also have a women's centre, a co-working space, an amphitheatre for events and performances, and a cultural arena to enhance community interaction.
Other features include a cycling track, play areas, fitness zones, an interactive fountain, an outdoor market, and retail suites, as well as food and beverage outlets.
"Benoy is fiercely proud of its expertise in drawing different communities together with spaces that disrupt the norm, surprise and delight and allow people to enjoy them in their own way," Priest said.
"We have deliberately stepped out of our comfort zone to really push the boundaries and create something that will continue to evolve and stay relevant over time."
|Featuring an urban forest of tropical trees and a backdrop reminiscent of Abu Dhabi's heritage and culture, the park will also have a women's centre, a co-working space, an amphitheatre for events and performances, and a cultural arena to enhance community interaction|
The UAE has in recent years announced similar yet more controversial projects that defy its desert environment.
In April, the Gulf emirate announced the opening of the world's largest man-made safari park, allowing nature and animal lovers to closely observe more than 250 animals in their natural habitat.
Extending over 217 hectares – the size of 304 football pitches – the new safari park was said to include Arabian and African animals, such as the scimitar oryx, springbok, eland, blesbok, giraffe, zebra and lion, as well as 38 native and African plants.
To minimise any potential impact on the environment, 2,500 plants and trees were moved during construction and then replanted after building work was completed.
Last year, Dubai announced the creation of an indoor tropical rainforest as part of a luxury housing development.
"Dubai is known around the world for attracting the biggest and best and the Dubai Rainforest joins that list of unique attractions which will support the growth of the city," said Ziad al-Chaar, managing director of Damac Properties.
|To minimise any potential impact on the environment, 2,500 plants and trees were moved during construction and then replanted after building work was completed|
In another defiance of the country's natural climate, UAE researchers announced in May the beginning of the first stage of a scheme to build a man-made mountain, as the country looks for alternative methods to increase rainfall.
The presence of mountains forces air to rise, creating clouds that can then be seeded, they explained.
Mountains intercept the global circulation of air, affecting wind, precipitation and temperature patterns.
The country's National Center of Meteorology & Seismology also resorted to cloud seeding – a weather modification technique designed to increase the amount of rainfall.
Operations typically take between two and three hours, with a twin-propeller plane releasing salt crystals into selected clouds.
The goal is to increase condensation within the cloud and trigger precipitation.