Exploring Abu Dhabi’s Green Oasis: Top 8 Gardens and Parks for Serenity Seekers (2023)
A visit to Abu Dhabi for many is usually limited to the top-rated tourist attractions. Although travelers tend to incline more towards modern and cultural landmarks in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE indeed boasts some incredible green spaces. Yes, to one’s surprise, beyond its magnificent malls, theme parks, and soaring skyscrapers, Abu Dhabi is home to numerous gardens and parks. These green spaces are perfect for picnics, romantic strolls, and a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Top 8 Gardens and Parks in Abu Dhabi
Here’s the list of the 8 Best Gardens and Parks in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Find peace in these green stretches right in the middle of a vast desert. Whether you want to meet a friend, spend some time with your partner, or want to plan a family’s day out, these landmarks are worth enjoying.
1. Hili Archaeological Park
Located in Al Ain city, the Hili Archaeological Park is a must-visit in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is UAE’s best-known archaeological site, popular amongst both locals and tourists. The park is famous for remnants of a Bronze Age settlement and is home to a falaj irrigation system, ancient tombs, and other archaeological findings. Not only that, but visitors can also check out a botanical garden, fountain, and a kids’ play area. A visit to the park offers a glimpse into the past, especially for those interested in exploring the cultural heritage of the area.
2. Khalifa Park
Khalifa Park is one of the most central and accessible parks in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Nestled near the Grand Mosque and the Eastern Mangroves, the park covers 500,000 meters of space and is a preferred family destination. Known for its beautiful gardens and expansive green spaces, Khalifa Park boasts a variety of botanical sections and different plant species. It is also home to a museum, an aquarium, a kids’ play area, and a riding train. The museum, Sheikh Zayed Centre, is dedicated to the life and achievements of UAE’s founded and first president, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The park also hosts events, concerts, and cultural performances, along with a funfair and a musical fountain show.
3. Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park
The Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park is a biodiversity hotspot and a natural paradise in Abu Dhabi. It sits along the eastern shore of Abu Dhabi, with a mangrove forest covering the coastline. The Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park is popular amongst nature enthusiasts, especially individuals interested in observing the biodiversity. The park is home to over 60 species of birds, fish, and other marine life. It also offers recreational opportunities, including kayaking and canoeing all year round.
4. Capital Gardens
Locally known as Asima Gardens, Capital Gardens is a green oasis in the trendy Al Markaziyah district of Abu Dhabi. Its location in the downtown/ central zone of Abu Dhabi makes it accessible and popular amongst both locals and tourists. The Capital Gardens are home to several small gardens that combine to make a sanctuary amid the bustling city life. However, this peaceful retreat is small but designed thoughtfully to include multiple mini gardens featuring colorful flowers, lush trees, swings, slides, benches, and climbing frames. The centerpiece of this green space is a large pond with fountains that periodically spout brilliant water displays. Although it is an all-day recreational spot, visiting here after sunset when the surrounding skyscraper is lit magnificently is an experience on its own.
5. Umm Al Emarat Park
Formally known as Mushrif Park, Umm Al Emarat Park is a hot spot for locals. It is UAE’s one of the oldest and largest urban parks and is renamed in honor of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. The highlights of the park are a picturesque lake with a musical fountain and the Animal Barn. Whether you want to relax or have close encounters with domestic animals, there are opportunities for them all. The park also features extensive green spaces, beautiful gardens (a botanical garden), a kids’ play area, educational exhibits, and a public library, along with a turtle and flamingo exhibit. Throughout the year, it keeps on hosting cultural events, workshops, and other engaging activities.
6. Heritage Park
For spending a leisurely weekend in Abu Dhabi, there’s no better place than Heritage Park. This picturesque haven is nestled near the Mina Zayed Fort, offering free entry and 24-hour accessibility. The lush green spaces of the park are adorned with colorful gardens and refreshing fountains, making it an ideal location for romantic walks. Heritage Park is quite popular amongst couples and families or anyone who wants to enjoy a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical charm. The park boasts play areas for kids and barbeque facilities where adults can enjoy outdoor cooking and dining. What makes Heritage Park unique amongst all is its breathtaking antique monuments and characteristic structures. It is a perfect place to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.
7. Delma Park
Nestled at the junction of Delma Street and Salam Street, Delma Park is a haven for a tranquil retreat and fitness escape. The park is designed with fitness amenities from exercise equipment to a soft underfoot running track and more. However, it goes beyond fitness and offers a delightful day out to families. Throughout the park, there are multiple Kiosks offering refreshments in the form of ice lollies, sandwiches, tea, coffee, and more. Not only that, but the park also features a basketball court, a tennis area, and a football court, attracting sports enthusiasts. For kids’ there is a dedicated playground and a climbing wall. Away from the hustle-bustle of the city, these lush green stretches offer a moment of solace and peace.
8. Corniche Parks
If you want to explore the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, don’t overlook the delightful parks that grace the surroundings. For a perfect balance of greenery and leisure, enjoy a stroll along the Corniche and enjoy as a series of parks unfolds. Near Sofitel Abu Dhabi, towards the east side, is a charming Recreation Park. Further, while moving along the road, you will find Formal Park, which, despite its straightforward name, surpasses expectations. The park is full of barbecue pits, badminton courts, and a concrete maze for youngsters. Close enough is Lake Park, a picturesque haven adorned with a 15-meter fountain, wooden bridges, and walkways. The Lake Park is quite popular amongst photography enthusiasts, all thanks to the snapshot opportunities here—a favorite spot for Instagrammers seeking the perfect snapshot.
Continuing your journey towards A’l Bahar, a variety of parks unfold, each with its unique offerings. Whether you fancy skate parks, splash facilities, or simply want to revel in the serene ambiance, these parks along the Corniche cater to diverse preferences. Besides parks, visitors can also find well-maintained running tracks and lush green gardens. It is the perfect spot for enjoying panoramic views of the sparkling Corniche.