Now that the scorching summer is officially here, I figured it would be nice to reminisce about the nice places you could visit in UAE if it were winter.
My favourite outdoor place, apart from all things Al Ain, that I’d recommend to everyone in winter would have to be Miracle Garden. Open all day (by all day, I mean sensible timings like 9am to 9pm on weekdays), Miracle Garden is home to 45 million flowers or so, but who’s counting, apart from the Guinness Book of World Records that is. Driving down from Ajman, the directions seem pretty straightforward -just grab E311 and you should find yourself there – but the lack of signs mean you have quite some guessing to do if you’re not familiar with the area. My advice would be to get your Google Maps out and let your GPS do the rest.
Once you find yourself there, admission is a mere AED 30 and if you’re too lazy to walk a couple of minutes from the free parking to the entrance there’s paid parking right in front.
Standing at the entrance you’ll automatically forget the long drive, the missed turns and the entrance fees because you’ll be looking at heaven in the desert.
Phase 1 has a number of attractions that you won’t want to miss. We had entered from the VIP entrance, and walked left making our way from the beautiful flower carts towards the Gazebo Zone.
As we approached, we entered the “Upside Down Flowers Pathway”. The colours of the pots were so lovely it was as though you were walking through a piece of art.
Once you get out of the Pathway, you find yourself at the mouth of the entrance to the Umbrella Pathway. To be honest, I couldn’t decided which one I liked more: the colourful flower pots or the Spidey-umbrellas.
Needless to say, both pathways make for great pictures so don’t be surprised to find a lot of people there. Also, the shade from the sun is always much appreciated. After lingering in the two pathways, we decided to get a bite to eat from some of the kiosks in the shaded seating area. The best part about taking some time to grab a bite is that you don’t feel as though you are leaving all the beautiful attractions behind, because the seating area itself is an attraction. The smell of the flowers and the shade meant we were in no hurry to leave and took some rest before going on to explore the second half of the garden.
After our snack, the first place that really caught our eye was Hessa square with its beautiful peacocks. Every park has its photo hotspots and and for Miracle Garden, after the pathways which are hotspot 1, this is hotspot number 2.
If you were to think that the peacocks were the highlight of the park, you’d be wrong. For me, the next attraction was perhaps my favourite: the Car Zone. What really blew me away was the idea behind the Car Zone. Re-purposing old cars that would have otherwise gone to the scrap yard to form a car graveyard of sorts filled with flowers.
And it’s not just the flowers that made this place so gorgeous, but also the colourful graffiti sprayed all over the cars!
Car Zone makes for a super picture hotspot 3. We reluctantly left and moved on to find ourselves at Shamsa Castle, or my next home. Next time, you might just see me in sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda reading a book and sipping ice-cold lemonade.
We had come full circle when we realized we hadn’t gone right to the centre of the park, so we took a quick detour just to see the giant Floral Clock.
In case you’re wondering what attractions I haven’t covered… don’t worry… there are plenty more in Phase 1. You can click on the map below to download a pdf.
And if, like me, you love all things floral, you’ll be happy to know that Phase 2 of Miracle Garden is due to open soon (October 2014) complete with a butterfly park!
Just remember, if you are planning to visit, the park is usually closed in summer so check out the Miracle Garden website before planning your trip!