Dubai’s green spaces are spread throughout the city. The Dubai authorities have also made sure to cater for exercising, and many of the parks have excellent dedicated running and cycling tracks, as well as team sport areas, courts, and fields.
During the stifling hot summer months of June to August, Dubai’s green spaces are little used during the day. But after dark, when the temperatures have lowered a little, local families, walkers, and runners head to the parks for some outdoor time.
Dubai’s parks are at their busiest in the cooler months (approximately October to April). Also, in these months, they become the best places to visit for picnicking and barbecuing on the weekends. The most popular parks can get packed on a sunny weekend day at this time.
Some parks, such as Zabeel Park and Burj Park, are also home to major Dubai tourist attractions, while Dubai Miracle Garden is a sightseeing attraction in itself.
Parks run by the Dubai municipality normally have small entrance fees of usually between 3 and 5 UAE dirhams. These can only be paid using the Dubai NOL card (the city’s top-up transport card, which is also used for all public transport in Dubai).
1. Zabeel Park
This large park, spanning 51 hectares, in central Dubai is a favorite weekend destination for local families once the stifling heat of the summer months has dissipated.
There’s plenty to keep the smaller members of the family entertained with a dinosaur park (complete with animatronic dinosaur models and a small museum devoted to dinosaurs) and a glow garden, which is lit up with twinkling lights, creating a fairy-tale garden after dark, both in the park’s southern section. Plenty of other dedicated areas throughout the park have children’s playground equipment.
While local families come here to picnic on the sprawling lawns, and local runners utilize Zabeel Park’s running track, for city visitors, the park’s main attraction is the Dubai Frame located in the northeastern corner. This picture-frame-shaped observation tower, zooms you up to the sky deck at 150 meters for panoramic views across the city. Moreover, it offers galleries that walk you through the history of Dubai.
There is a small admission fee to enter the park. The nearest metro station is Al Jafiliya.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
2. Safa Park
Two blocks inland from Jumeirah Beach, Safa Park is a hugely popular green space, with Dubai Creek winding through the park’s lawns and groomed gardens.
One of the city’s oldest dedicated public park spaces, Safa Park dates from 1975. When it was first created, it sat outside the city limits – a fact visitors can marvel at now, as the city has long since surrounded it and advanced in a steady march beyond, southwest down the coast, making Safa Park now in central Dubai.
Known for its great team sports facilities, Safa Park has tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, as well as a track for runners, and you can rent bikes on-site to cycle the park’s trails.
The manmade lake at the park’s center has boating facilities with pedalo-boats that can be rented. For families with small children, there are plenty of areas throughout the park with playground equipment.
If you fancy a lazier day, just enjoying the green space, the lawn here fits plenty of picnickers, and there is a dedicated barbecuing area. There are also cafés and restaurants within the park if you don’t want to prepare and bring along your own food.
There’s a small entrance fee to the park. Business Bay is the nearest metro station.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
3. Creek Park
Creek Park runs along the western bank of Dubai Creek and is the city’s second largest public park area.
For many visitors, the promenade here that rims the creek is the main reason to visit; whether to simply stroll and enjoy the waterside views or to photograph the creek.
Manicured flower bed displays are scattered around the vast lawn areas where families come to picnic and hang out in good weather during the weekends.
There’s a dedicated barbecue area for families and groups who want a more substantial picnic experience plus there are various cafés and restaurants within the park.
If you want to explore the park’s winding trails by bike, there are hire-cycles on-site.
For child-friendly park activities, the science-activity center Children’s City is based in the southern half of Creek Park. Inside is a planetarium, theater, and plenty of interactive science exhibits.
Creek Park has a small admission entrance fee. The nearest metro station is Oud Metha.
Address: Riyadh Street, Dubai
4. Mushrif Park
Right on the city’s eastern edge, Mushrif Park covers 13 acres and is a firm favorite with families looking for a green space to let children run off some steam, with a host of activities aimed at both younger and older kids on offer.
Aventura, Dubai’s tree-top adventure-activity course with multiple rope-swings and ziplines, is based in the northern section of the park, and Mushrif also boasts a public swimming pool complex with one of the pools reserved for children.
There’s also a horse-riding school inside the park, offering both one-off rides and regular lesson packages, and the park has dedicated cycling trails and bike rentals, as well as running tracks.
With team sports facilities, including a football field, basketball courts, and volleyball courts, Mushrif is a major destination for local teams, as well as groups of friends who just want a kick-around.
Dense (for the UAE at least) thickets of trees cover some areas of the park, so Mushrif is a popular spot with local bird-watchers. For picnickers there’s plentiful lawn space and a dedicated barbecuing area with fire pits.
In the central area of the park is a model village featuring architecture from across the world in miniature.
There is a nominal entrance fee. The easiest way to reach Mushrif Park is by car.
Address: Al Khawaneej Street, Mushrif, Dubai
5. Burj Park
Slap in the heart of Dubai, with Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Opera House as its neighbors, Burj Park is a welcome sliver of green amid Dubai’s towering steel and glass skyscrapers.
This is where you come for the best views of the fountain displays on Burj Lake. With the fountain displays shooting up to 50 stories high, Dubai’s performing fountain is the tallest in the world.
Burj Park is also a popular destination for views and photos of the surrounding high-rises.
The park incorporates a landscaped green space at the base of the Burj Khalifa and a manmade island opposite, accessed by bridge.
The park’s wide lakefront promenade is popular with evening strollers, joggers, and cyclists and is a particularly good destination after dark if you want to snap photos of the Downtown Dubai city lights. Contemporary art installations and sculptures are set at various points along the promenade.
There is no entrance fee. The nearest metro station is the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro stop.
Address: Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Road, Downtown Dubai
6. Dubai Miracle Garden
To This massive floral garden covers an area of 72,000 square meters with over 150 million blooming flowers.
The flower displays range from intricately landscaped areas of flower beds and an entire floral village and castle to surreal 3D designs and a huge floral A380 airplane (which is the world’s largest floral sculpture).
For smaller kids there’s also a Disney Avenue area, which features oversized floral and topiary Disney characters. The Park also hosts regular on-site entertainment specifically aimed at children.
Unlike in Dubai’s public parks, you can’t bring outside food and drink into the park area but there are 30 outlets, ranging from restaurants to more simple cafés, food kiosks, and shops, for refreshments.
The Park is open from approximately November to April annually, and there’s an entrance fee (though children under three have free admission).
The Park is in Al Barsha South, so there’s no metro station nearby, though you can get off at Mall of the Emirates metro station and take a bus to Dubai Miracle Garden from there.
Address: Al Barsha South, Dubai
7. Al Barsha Pond Park
In Dubai’s southern districts, inland from Dubai Marina and The Palms Jumeirah, Al Barsha Pond Park is a landscaped green space centered around a manmade lake.
The park covers 52 acres with manicured strips of garden and plenty of trees shading the wide, 1.5-kilometer-long running track that circuits the lake.
The rubber-surfaced running track is the park’s major calling-card for local exercisers, and it’s a popular spot with walkers and skaters, as well as joggers and runners. There’s a separate cycling path circuit that threads around the lake, and Al Barsha Pond Park’s bike rental office rents out cycles, e-bikes, and go-karts.
You can rent pedalos if you want to get out onto the lake, rather than walk around it.
For local families, there are three playground areas set up for little ones on-site. A couple of cafés provide refreshments within the park.
The park has free entrance. The most convenient public transport access is by local city bus.
Address: 329th Street, Al Barsha 2, Dubai
8. Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park offers a double up of beach and green space, in the city’s northern edge. The area encompasses the tip of a small peninsula that juts out into the sea, facing Sharjah.
The vast number of visitors who come here focus on the beaches. There are five sandy strips: four on the eastern side of the beach park and one to the west. Between them is a large (55,000-meter) sweep of manicured lawn, rimmed with palm trees. Also, they have various winding paths through the area for cycling, running, and strolling.
There are dedicated areas for barbecuing in the garden space, as well as plentiful space for picnicking. Various food kiosks and a couple of cafés within the park provide refreshments if you haven’t brought along your own food.
There is a small entrance fee. The easiest public transport to use is the city bus.
Address: Al Mamzar Beach Park Road, Al Mamzar, Dubai
9. Jumeirah Lake Towers Park
Just east of Dubai Marina, this parkland area in the combined residential-commercial district of Jumeirah Lake Towers. It is a neatly landscaped green space rimmed by both high rises and small manmade lakes.
For locals, the large, well-kept lawns here are a top spot for letting the kids expend some excess energy. There are a couple of well-equipped playground areas for smaller kids here, too, and a small football field.
The Park has plenty of cafés and restaurants rimming the green space. Moreover, it is a popular place to hang out on the weekends with area residents.
The pathway circuiting the lake, is used by many local strollers, runners, and cyclists.
There’s no entrance fee to the park. The nearest metro station is Dubai Marina station.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai
10. Umm Suqeim Park
Opposite Umm Suqeim Beach, this small park is a top spot for exercising locals who come here to run or stroll on the jogging circuit within the park, which is overlooked by the Burj Al Arab hotel in the distance.
For local joggers and runners, this is a good option for evening exercise. It is since the jogging circuit is brightly lit after dark. It becomes particularly popular with the district’s solo female runners.
Although small, the park is well set up for families and offers a large and well-maintained children’s playground area. Moreover, there are picnic tables for groups who want to spend more time here. Many families out for a day at Umm Suqeim Beach next door, head here around lunch time.
If you don’t want to bring along your own food, there is also a café within the park.
There’s no entrance fee for Umm Suqeim Park. The easiest public transport option is by city bus.
Address: East Street, Jumeirah 3/Umm Suqeim, Dubai