If you haven’t already heard, Al Noor Island is finally open to the public! Located on the Khalid Lagoon, Al Noor Island houses not only the Butterfly House, but also boasts a series of art installations around the beautiful island.
We headed down to the island expecting only to find the Butterfly House but were in for a pleasant surprise. The walk down the bridge to the island is pretty scenic as you can enjoy clear views of the corniche and can see all the way up to Al Montazah water park! In fact the view was so lovely, and the weather even more so that we forgot about going to the island and just wanted to sit on the bench under the Draceana Draco tree and take in the view.When we did manage to pull ourselves away, we found that the island had much more than the Butterfly House and Literature Pavilion that we had heard so much about. From gardens to sculptures and even a trampoline pathway (which by the way I just loved!) Our first stop was the Butterfly House, an architectural beauty. With around 500 butterflies in the open, it’s a great place to learn more about butterflies and see them up close. We managed to see Common Mormons, Clippers, Leopard Lacewings (including one that had just come out of its cocoon), Peacock Pansies (one of which decided that my mum’s palm was just so comfortable to sit on it didn’t want to get off <3 ) and Grey Pansies (who were feeding on pineapples). Since we had gone down in the morning and it was cloudy outside, we found most of the butterflies basking near the glass windows trying to warm up. Right outside the hot house, is a cafe with not only the most gorgeous butterfly themed table tops, but also great tarts! :P As we walked around, we realized that music was playing subtly all across the island… blending in so well with everything you hardly realize it’s there. We came across a number of sculptures as we walked through the various gardens, my favourites of which were the 7 m tall Ovo and the Torus. The other place on the island that we all fell in love with was the literature pavilion. Nestled in the greenery, is a white pavilion with a water fountain, benches, cushions and rugs… all that was missing was a good book to enjoy the great weather. I’ll have to come back better equipped next time! We later found out that the island features a number of illuminated attractions at night, including glowing trees and the Ovo… this means I’m going to have to go again at night!
If you’re looking for someplace to spend a peaceful new year, this would be high up on my list ^^ The entrance to the island is located right behind Al Noor Mosque and the island is open from 9am to 11pm on weekdays and till midnight on weekends. Tickets cost AED 45 per adult and AED 25 for children, but since the Butterfly House closes at 6pm, ticket prices are reduced if you’re visiting in the evenings (as of Dec 2015).