GARDEN IN THE DESERT

Some of us think that desert is all about mountainous sand, no rainy season or a portion on earth with limited plants and animals to live. I’m sure super greenery environment  is far from your mind set when it comes to definition of desert. Well, being an expat in UAE I almost see its improvement especially to its surroundings. Despite of being tagged as a country with a fair share of desert in the middle east and a towering building which is a common ground for commercial establishment, its really amazing how they able to maintain their nature-friendly approach in every corner. To think that it was a a country with limited rainfall (so lucky if once in a year we experience a natural watering moment from above) still they beautify the street with trees and flowers. Take note—- it was real. Though trees manage to live for nth year old, flowering plants need to be uprooted after some months for replacement. If we, human being, complain when we got direct exposure to sunlight, what more for flowering plants with their endurance and richness being tested in alignment with above 35deg. temperature. Interestingly, their effort to provide an eco-friendly pathways, side road or park reach a unanimous result—colorful day in the eyes of any person who fortunate to see the entire area.

On my way to work, I have seen a lot of mini-garden along the road. Whenever I saw trees and different color of flowers (mostly pink and white) I wanted to stop and take a short moment of relaxation by just staring at those beautiful gift from Heaven. It’s really unbelievable how they remain strong despite of humidity pressure and at the same time captured us with it’s everlasting beauty. Even in our area where I live trees and flowers are so visible and add some taste in the city life.

When I first landed here I was surprise with the hot weathe but eventually had a reverse feeling whenever I saw Park with lush grass, trees in different height and flowers in multi-colored. I remember in our first accommodation, everyday we visit a Park either for a morning or evening walk. Having a mini-park close to us is really one of the perks I enjoyed. It became playground for my nephew and a total stress-free place for us — adults. It was surrounded by trees, covered with bermuda grass and set of blooming flowers along the pathway. Almost every morning when I look at the window, I witnessed how those flower were taking care of the gardeners. Sad to say, the whole place vanished in the urban map to give way to the birth of metro stations.

We have a sayings that when one door closes another one opens. Year 2010 when Al Ain Paradise was initially open to public. We visited midweek of October last week only to found out that it was still close for maintenance. From then only we got to know that they close the Park due to summer season because of very high temperature which is not suitable for growing flowers. To make sure we see it this time my dxb family plan for an out-of-town trip to Al Ain last week of March (sorry this was super duper late post as our internet at home went for 3 weeks vacation).

Al Ain Paradise was located at Nahyan al Awal Street at the Zakher roundabout in Al Ain. The Park shelters a million of flowers in different sizes, color and shapes. To cater more visitors they decided to expand the area from 7,ooo sqm to 21,000 sqm. Just imagine how many flowers grown in such a big lot. From the entrance gate it was a totally breathtaking view inside. If I was delighted to see a small garden full of flowers this time it was a mix emotion to stop, stare and got amaze on a million of flowers surrounds me.

Flowers..Flowers..Flowers...

Aside from hanging basket of flowers, there is also a 12m tall Eiffel tower reflica inside the park. Another highlight is the 7m pyramid of flower. The pyramid was one of the favorite spot for photographic session as we can’t see the area without any single guest behind it. The numerous landscaped of flowers were also encircling the pyramid.

On the other side, there is a 3 life-size arch of heart (covered with flowers) which represents the 3 Abu Dhabi regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Liwa). After a few step from it you will be fronted with the portrait of Sheik Khalifa in a sailboat. It only symbolizes that he is the Captain of the entire nation.

Well, aside from the natural voice that visitors created maybe because of too much  amazement, it is a common sound to hear a number of whistling from the guard. Be aware that in order to preserve the beauty of of every flower visitors were not allowed to step on a grass. They have to stay only on the alloted pathways. But some of the guests are so hardheaded for the sake of picture taking they will do their level best to break the rules (they took advantage when the guard doesn’t look, it’s their time to sit on the grass).

If you are tired of walking there is a place inside were you can fully relaxed. While sitting on the benches you’ll also have an opportunity to feed your eyes with flowers that serves as an border wall.

Considering the location of the garden in the heart of the desert plus no natural rain to water the plants, its really enthralling to know how they make the park very impressive for everyone. Kudos to Akar Landscaping Services Agriculture for their effort. Not only in the UAE that Al Ain Paradise become an instant landmark. Way back Feb. 2011, Guinness World Record  awarded the prestigious honor for having the most number of hanging baskets of flowers (2968 hanging baskets to be exact) to Al Ain Paradise.

The birth of Al Ain Paradise is truly amazing. Though it was only open during cold months the real exprience of being surrounded with flowers and the scent of relaxing moment once you step on the site will always be carried the whole year. For those people who expedite the ideas of creating a paradise you really inspires a lot of people by sharing a positive view that along with cactus, a garden of flowers can also grow in the desert.

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