Text by Saba Siddiqui | Video by Sonia Shah
Dubai Garden Glow is not just about lights. It’s a visual experience that piques your curiosity, broadens your mind and sparks your creativity.
“Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge and I completely agree with that,” says Fazila Gore, Counselling Psychologist at The LightHouse Arabia. She believes luminous theme parks such as Dubai Garden Glow provide a foundation for creative thinking in children. “The glow park stimulates a child’s mind and helps them think outside the box, which aids in their cognitive, social and language development.”
Dubai Garden Glow, which opened its third season this October with a brand-new Ice Park, offers wholesome edutainment for the whole family with its radiant attractions and the Dinosaur Park.
During the day, the glow garden is a space devoted to artistic installations and at night it turns into a glow-in-the-dark spectacle. The handmade structures are lit up by about ten million LED lights.
“When I came here for an educational trip last year, I got to know that the trees are made from recycled bottles and small glass containers,” says 14-year-old Reem Hany from Arab Unity School about Dubai Garden Glow’s last season.
With its focus on wildlife and harmonious co-existence, the art installations convey a message about environmental protection.
“This is a learning place for both children and grown-ups,” says Gore about the park that attracts visitors from all age groups. “It helps children imagine and be the masters of their universe, while feeding a grown-up’s curious mind that triggers childhood memories.”
She believes it’s also a good place for families to bond with each other. “You can relive your childhood with your children.”
Engage with the dinosaurs
With more than 100 animatronic pre-historic creatures belonging to three different eras, the Dinosaur Park brings alive what children have learnt. The roaring and moving dinosaurs help them relate to these extinct species.
“My youngest daughter and son thought the dinosaurs were real and were scared,” says Fareesa Khan, who came to the park with her husband, Mohammad Haneef, and their four children. “I explained to them that they are not alive anymore and became extinct millions of years ago.”
Haneef adds, “There is so much information about dinosaurs here that even we didn’t know — their existence, what they ate and the regions they lived.”
Ten-year-old Sancea Briana D’Almeida says she didn’t know that there were these many varieties of dinosaurs and that their eating patterns evolved over time.
“My favourite part is the area where they show the volcanic eruption with the bodies of dinosaurs lying on the ground,” says the Indian High School student.
The volcanic area is quite the hotspot for visitors. “The volcanic eruption that shows how dinosaurs may have become extinct and their fossils fascinated me,” says Khan.
The park also has a Dino Lab that depicts the hatching of a baby dinosaur as well as a display of dinosaur skeleton replicas.
Play at the Ice Park
The Ice Park brings ice sculptures and cold winter to the UAE where temperatures touch 50 degrees Celsius at the height of summer. Skilfully crafted using 5,000 tons of ice, the park, maintained at a chilling temperature of -8 degrees Celsius, offers something new to visitors.
“I loved the Ice Park and stayed in it for about 40 minutes,” says Hany. “It was cold and the park echoed. It was exciting to experience the cold."
Gore says the Ice Park has a huge impact on children, especially those who have not travelled to cold countries to experience winter. “This park brings the experience home, ice and snow, right in the middle of a desert.
“For children, it makes the unbelievable believable and helps them with story writing and art projects at school and makes them believe that anything is possible.”
In addition to the 25-odd ice sculptures such as the winged horse and the polar bears, the park has a small children's play area.
Adam Amir, 10, was surprised by the igloo carved in ice. “I didn’t know about igloos,” he says. "I’m seeing it for the first time.”
His father, Ahmad Gouda, is happy to see his children enjoy themselves. “We live in Dubai and it’s so hot,” he says. “We have never seen snow and we are experiencing something very different here.”
With so many attractions, Dubai Garden Glow is sure to keep you busy. So it would be a good idea to plan your day well and take one thing at a time.
Now that gives you one more reason to visit again.
Tickets to Dubai Garden Glow cost Dh60 per head. Children under three go free. Entry fee to the Ice Park is Dh40. For more details, visit http://www.dubaigardenglow.com/