Al Safa Park wins you over straight away. You want to come back here again and again. In the mornings you can use the jogging tracks or join a group of people practicing yoga. Or just sit on the grass listening to the birds twittering, and then go up to the stream, where you can find shade and freshness.

Al Safa Park.
Oasis of serenity

Being in Dubai people can pass by a big forest park multiple times without having any idea of how wonderful it is inside, in the depth of the shady palm groves.

Al Safa Park is a huge oasis. It is hard to miss, it lies along the streets of Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Wasl, in Jumeirah district, not far from the Business Bay underground station.

Long time ago this place was populated with migratory birds. They were staying here, making their nests, protecting their young, preparing them for their first flight.

In 1975 Al Safa city park was opened here to be immediately loved by Dubai citizens. Recently the park has been renovated, and now it’s even cozier than before. And the birds are still welcome in Al Safa.

The Arabian word “safa” has many meanings:
smooth stone, smooth surface, purity.

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Al Safa is enchanting. Clean, green, groomed. Everywhere there are beautiful straight lawns with juicy soft grass. In the center of the park you can find manmade wavy hills.

Almost all beauty in the park is manmade but looks natural and well-balanced. The “handmadeness” of the park is revealed by thin hoses with water brought to almost every tree. Sometimes you can see self-growing deciduous trees here, very high, with wide crowns of queer shape-local old-timers.

Children are riding scooters on the tracks of Al Safa. Rare park visitors are making funny videos with their iPhones. A group of ducks is walking over the hills towards a shady shelter headed by a blue-grey drake. The ducklings are falling behind, their mother is quacking impatiently.

It’s one idyllic place. Just imagine: you are sitting on the soft juicy grass in the shadow of a fluffy palm tree. You are sitting and just breathing in this clear, warm air. The bay (it’s very close) brings the notes of sea freshness.

In the depth of the park there is a weird luminous object, a pavilion without walls. Inside there are shelves with books. It turns out to be a library!

An eco structure comes in handy: here by the shelves with interesting books and photo albums on them there is a small coffee shop. I get a table, breathe out. I order freshly-made juice and a croissant with za'atar.

At the same time I discover that the pavilion does have walls but they are made of glass. It plays a nasty trick with the visitors who catch bumps from the transparent invisible obstacle.

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I slowly walk along the channel, reading neat inscriptions on the signs. I understand that one day is not enough to go around and see everything. I turn back. It has gotten noticeably dark. At the end of the day it is a little stuffy and humid here. The grass gets covered with dew. The enclosed pond has a running fountain, the sounds of which disturb the silence of the Arabic evening.

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The Park is nice any time of the day.
By closing time – at 10 p.m. – the park mystically transforms into a gigantic fairy tale forest with the spreading crowns retreating somewhere in the impenetrable darkness. The quiet waters of the bay are snoozing somewhere behind the park and the streets of Al Wasl and Jumeirah.

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    Author and photographerVictoria Lazareva
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