As part of the plan to develop outdoor public space, Abu Dhabi is to have a futuristic covered garden under a canopy with the appearance of cracked desert land from above which will provide partial shade to the plants below.
Developed by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, the Abu Dhabi-based philanthropic foundation that funds art, culture, education and health projects, the 125,000 square metres, Al Fayah Park, will be covered by a 20 metre-high sand-coloured canopy, and will house a public library, picnic areas, a mosque and an outdoor cinema. Community spaces to host live performances and local festivals will be included.
The Foundation has selected London-based Thomas Heatherwick to design the park with construction expected to begin by the end of this year and completion in 2017.
Once finished, the park will supply fresh fruits and vegetables to local cafes and restaurants. It will also include play areas, exercise paths and an organic patch, besides showcasing flowers and plants native to the Arabian Gulf region.
Designed to be the latest attraction for residents and international visitors, Al Fayah Park is among the initiatives to develop outdoor public spaces in the capital.
Abu Dhabi, according to The National daily, will have 130 parks and play areas by 2017, up from 48 parks and 37 playgrounds today, said Abu Dhabi Municipality. Existing parks such as Mushrif and Khalifa Parks are undergoing renovation. New ones will be built in Mohammed bin Zayed City, Khalifa City, Shakhbout City, Shamkha City and Al Adla City.