Images of the new parks courtesy of MMUP/Baladiya
Amidst the dust blown up by all the construction projects currently taking place across town, news of the opening of four new family parks in Qatar should come as welcome news to residents who want to enjoy the winter in the open-air.
Described as a “gift in celebration of National Day” which will take place next Thursday, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (known as Baladiya) has announced that the new gardens are ready to take their first visitors.
@Baladiya1 @GulfTimes_QATAR thanks, we have been waiting many months for the opening of the Dafna park near west bay petrol station.
— Mohamed Rayan (@engMohamedrayan) December 11, 2014
Onaiza Park, situated in Dafna, near Al Jazi Gardens housing compound, is one of the largest of the new four. Some 23,000 sq meters in size, its facilities include a shaded children’s play area with rubber matted flooring, football pitches covered with industrial turf, shaded seating areas, a cafe, toilets and a water cooler, as well as numerous water features.
The largest of the new sites is Al Shehaniyah Park, West of Doha, on the Dukhan Road. This 26,000 sq m park has a mosque, football pitches, a children’s play area, basketball and handball courts, seating areas, toilets and water coolers.
The smaller (2,094 sq m) Al Khairaitiyat Plaza, just north of Doha, has a covered kiddie play area, shaded seating and toilets, while Um Salal Park‘s facilities include a prayer room, children’s play area, cafe, toilets and free wifi on the 1,227 sq meter site.
Residents often call for the construction of more green gems around town, as an open air alternative to malls, to enjoy time with family and friends.
One of Qatar’s oldest and busiest green spaces was Rumailah (al Bidda) Park, in the heart of the city on the Corniche. However, it was closed to the public last month as it undergoes renovation works that are believed to be part of the Doha Grand Park project.
There are in fact around two dozen smaller, local parks dotted around Doha and beyond, which can hard to find without insider knowledge, but provide a great escape from the daily hustle and bustle.
Qatar blogger Christine Gerber-Rutt has documented them for JustHere and you can find full details, including facilities, locations and directions, here.
Sheraton Park delays
Meanwhile, the new Sheraton Park, which has long been scheduled to open this month, is still under construction and developers QDVC has not confirmed when it will be finished.
Built in the hotel grounds, atop a four-level underground car park for 2,800 vehicles, it will give much-needed extra green space amid the high-rises of downtown Dafna.
The seven hectares of public garden are set to have soft landscaping and hardscaping, children’s playground areas, cafes, restaurants and water features.
Hundreds of workers could be seen on the site, readying it ahead of the GCC leaders’ conference which took place at the recently-refurbished Sheraton earlier this week. However, it looks like residents will have to wait a little longer before they can explore the park.
What is your favorite park in Qatar?