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Mahra Salem Al Shamsi (left) and Aisha Abdul Rahim Abualshawareb announce the parks' redesign project. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The first impressions of what Dubai’s redesigned public parks could look like will be showcased by the end of September, officials said here on Sunday. The update came during a gathering at Dubai Media Office of 30 Emirati creative talents entrusted with submitting proposals and designs for the redevelopment of ten public parks.

The new park designs will cover urban seating, children’s playgrounds, jogging tracks, landscaping and other elements of the park in addition to concepts for community events or activities.

A total of ten parks located in the residential areas of Al Mizhar 1, Muhaisnah 3, Al Barsha 2, Al Qouz 1, Al Warqa’a 2, Nad Al Sheba 4, Al Twar 3, Oud Al Muteena 2, Al Warqa’a 4 and Umm Suqeim 2 will be redesigned as part of the joint project.

Master plan

It follows an announcement in April of a partnership between Brand Dubai – the creative arm of Dubai Media Office – and Dubai Municipality to jointly redesign public parks across Dubai, in alignment with Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan to “make the city the world’s best to live in”. The master plan was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The UAE is celebrating its ‘Year of the 50th’ anniversary this year and has outlined its vision for the coming five decades – Dubai’s master plan is in line with this vision to enhance the happiness and quality of life for citizens, residents and visitors.

Under the master plan, green and recreational spaces dedicated to Dubai’s public parks are set to double in size to serve the projected growth in the number of residents and visitors. The parks will also be redeveloped, actively involving creative professionals to make the parks more attractive for the community.

On Sunday, presentations on the project were made by Shaima Al Suwaidi, manager, City Branding, Brand Dubai; Aisha Abdul Rahim Abualshawareb, acting manager, Planning Permits Section, Dubai Municipality; and Mahra Salem Al Shamsi, acting manager, Urban Design Section, Dubai Municipality.

Young designers

On the sidelines of the gathering at Dubai Media Office, Al Suwaidi told Gulf News: “The initiative also provides the youth the opportunity to showcase their talents in Dubai Brand’s projects. We have 30 participants in this initiative – ten architects, ten interior designers and ten event planners – who will work together in teams on the parks’ designs.”

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Shaima Al Suwaidi at Sunday's gathering at Dubai Media Office. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

The participants, most of whom are fresh graduates and young professionals, were chosen after an evaluation of more than 100 submissions from the community for designs of public park elements and concepts for community events. The participants were chosen based on their portfolio of work and their CVs. Submissions were invited for designs that can integrate environmentally friendly materials and innovative modern building methods that can revitalise parks and help attract more visitors.

Upcoming exhibition

Al Suwaidi added: “The 30 talents will be working on this initiative for two months [August and September]. We will have multiple meetings in between. In case they have any questions or they need any support with the designs. We will also have an exhibition by the end of September, for them to keep their proposals ready to showcase in the exhibition.”

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‘Parks for people, designed by people’

Asem Abdul Razzak Al Qassim, acting director, Executive Planning Department, Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News the joint project between the two entities provides an avenue for creative youth, including new graduates, to be part of designing the parks in their neighbourhoods. “We are targeting to achieve the vision of Dubai as the best place to live and we are sure to achieve this human-centric target. To move forward in that direction, we have to, of course, design the best facilities and services for people. This initiative in particular is targeting the vision of ‘parks for people, designed by people’,” added Al Qassim.

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Asem Abdul Razzak Al Qassim. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Opportunity to serve

Interior designers at Sunday’s event told Gulf News their goal is to place people at the heart of their projects. Emirati Alya Al Hosani said: “As a designer, my main goal and part of my philosophy is to offer to people good, healthy and more ethical spaces that allow them to feel comfortable. This experience will give me an opportunity to implement my goals.”

Shaikha Al Jasmi, an interior designer from the UAE, said: “Dubai Municipality and Brand Dubai are giving us the opportunity, as interior designers, to redesign Dubai’s park, to make them better for the community and bring together the community. As I am an active person, I would like to see Dubai parks as more successful and we are hoping to make them better through this initiative.”