Abu Dhabi may be famous for its incredible skyline, but this ultra-modern city has plenty of open spaces to balance the 21st century skyscrapers and malls. Outdoor parks in Abu Dhabi give you a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax on beautifully landscaped lawns and explore the natural spaces. Here’s our selection of the top outdoor parks in Abu Dhabi for you and your family to discover.
Mushrif Central Park
This incredible park is very large, so you’ll need more than one visit to see everything. 14.5 hectares of charming gardens, perfect lawns and wide-open spaces also pack in plenty of recreational opportunities, whether you want to learn more about the region’s flora and fauna, or simply want to take a stroll around the hiking trails that criss-cross the park. One of the must-sees is the Shade House, that’s as stunning at night as it is during the day, and takes its influence from the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
Next to the Shade House is the Botanic Garden, designed as a natural oasis and filled with palm trees and cactuses. At night, the park hosts shows and concerts at the Amphitheatre, while a stroll along the 460m-long promenade or good film at the outdoor movie lawn is the perfect way to enjoy the cool of the evening.
Emirates Park Zoo
This is definitely one for the kids, and is home to over 1,700 animals including an incredible pair of white tigers, a Siberian bear, big cats, and small critters. The park’s state-of-the-art misting system keeps the animals cool during the summer, and there are exhibits, shows, and events all year round to keep everyone entertained. A kid’s petting zoo introduces little ones to more familiar animals, and the park has excellent facilities, cafés, and restaurants when you want to refuel.
Khalifa Park is a real favourite with Abu Dhabi locals. Its large children’s play area makes it a great spot for families, while the lush gardens and fabulous fountains make it a tranquil spot if you simply want somewhere to sit back and relax with a good book. The park charges a very small entry fee, and is on the Mangrove Corniche.
Simple, yet beautifully designed, Delma Park is a recent addition and is very much a green space designed for children and adults to enjoy. Filled with delicate flowers and beautifully designed walking trails, it’s a wonderful spot for jogging in the evening or taking a leisurely stroll in the afternoon. Take a picnic and sit among the flowers, or try some local snacks at one of the food stalls. Note that pets are not allowed in the park.
Mangrove National Park
This unique ecosystem has been stunningly preserved right next to the city centre, showing visitors what this remarkable region would have looked like for thousands of years before man established a settlement here. It makes up around three-quarters of the region’s surviving mangrove forest, which includes diverse ecosystems. It’s a delight for anyone interested in the natural history of the region, and a great opportunity to see flamingos, herons, and a host of other species of animals.
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