When you think of Dubai, parks may not be the first thing that comes to mind. You may be inclined to think more of Dubai's iconic luxury developments or the desert (though you'd be surprised, as we were when we visited the city a few months ago!
). But not only does Dubai have parks, but it also has one park in particular that stands out as a unique attraction - the Quranic Park that opened earlier this year!
Located in the Al Khawaneej area of Dubai, the park spans over 60 hectares and is centred around elements inspired by the Holy Quran. And if that wasn't intriguing enough, the park was even just recently named one of Time magazine's World's Greatest Places To Visit for 2019
We actually had the opportunity to visit Quranic Park for ourselves when were in Dubai back in April - the park had just opened the last week of March so we were lucky! We took a taxi from our hotel in the Downtown Dubai area (we stayed at Sofitel Dubai Downtown which is right near to where the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall are located) to the park. It's about a 30-minute drive away.
Given that Quranic Park is located in a quieter area of Dubai away from the central downtown or popular tourist areas where it's harder to reach by public transport, we do recommend that you make arrangements for getting transport back to the city once you're done exploring the park, such as through ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem.
The park was founded with the intention of providing visitors exposure to Islam in a beautiful, family-friendly space. Entrance to the park is free, and you can spend ages just walking around the perfectly landscaped gardens - there are 12 gardens altogether which include orchards where plants like palm trees, olives and figs are grown (all plants that are mentioned in the Quran and sunnah!).
You'll also won't be able to miss the unique lake that's a prominent feature in the park. The small lake has a walking path running right through it, splitting the lake into two. This is meant to symbolise the story of Prophet Moses parting the Red Sea.
Credit: @aqeelamani on Instagram
Another feature you’ll find in the park: 'trees' which are actually solar panels! They're artfully shaped like trees and decorated with calligraphy painted in gold. These solar trees not only help harness energy for the park and serve as pretty photo spots, but they also function as smart points, with free WiFi and phone-charging stations available.
The park's open areas are dotted with covered sitting spaces, however, we'd recommend avoiding visiting in the afternoons of the summer months as it can get pretty hot! If you do, be sure to bring a cap or umbrella and wear sunscreen.
Credit: @salman_av on Instagram
The park's biggest draw, however, is its two paid attractions - the Cave of Miracles as well as the Glass House (which each cost AED5 to visit). The Cave of Miracles is a man-made cave where you can explore different chambers which are each devoted to a story related to a miracle that was bestowed to one of the prophets.
To enter the attractions, you’ll need a reusable NOL card (Dubai's equivalent to Touch 'N Go or EZ-Link) filled with enough credit. If you do not have a NOL card, be sure to purchase one at the booth at the main entrance of the park before heading to the attractions. There's also a machine outside the Cave of Miracles where you can top-up your NOL card before entering the attraction.
Each chamber has a video display which tells the story of a specific event related to a particular prophet, including the story of Prophet Isa A.S. creating birds from clay, Prophet Ibrahim A.S.reviving birds, and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. splitting the moon, among others (there are seven in total!). When we visited the Quranic Park, the videos were only available in Arabic (and we understand that to still be the case), but English translations are in the process of being prepared ?
The cave has limited capacity, hence it's best to avoid visiting on a Friday or weekends as it can get pretty crowded and you'll have to wait in line to enter the cave.
The other main attraction is the Glass House. This indoor area (that's air-conditioned!) houses up to 29 plans and trees that are mentioned in the Quran and the sunnah, such as olives, blackseed, figs, cucumbers, garlic and more.
The Glass House has pretty water features and rampways that you can leisurely walk around. There are also signboards that talk about the plants grown in there and their significance and health benefits.
All in all, we found the Quranic Park to be a wonderfully original initiative by Dubai to combine recreation with faith. We enjoyed seeing stories and elements of the Quran and the sunnah, two huge fundamentals of our faith, being incorporated into a city's green space. It's also a wonderful and interesting way to expose Islam to visitors who are non-Muslims. It's something that would be great for you to check out when you're in Dubai! ?
General park hours: 8am - 1opm
Attraction hours: Sat - Thu, 9am - 9pm; Fri, 3pm - 9pm
D54, Al Warqa Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Free entry to the park, attractions are each AED5 per person Website