Aside from being a popular jet-set vacation destination, Dubai is well known for its wealth, fancy cars, skyscrapers, upscale shopping and lavish nightlife. One thing is for sure, if you're searching for luxury and splendor then this is a place for you. Although it may just seem like a city of glitz and glam don't let it fool you, since Dubai is also rich in history and culture. It's easy to enjoy the best of both worlds with plenty of megamalls and nightclubs in downtown Dubai but just as many museums and historic buildings, too. The Burj Khalifa is a place you won't soon forget either.
One thing that everyone can agree on is that the climate in Dubai is hot, and its warm desert location can make spending time outside difficult if you aren't used to the weather. That doesn't mean that you should stay inside all day, and there are quite a few nice green spaces and public parks in Dubai where you can enjoy the great outdoors while staying within the city limits.
Whether you're visiting for the first time or are a local looking to get to know their city better, here are some of the best parks in Dubai to check out after a day of shopping or seeing the sights. Need somewhere safe to keep your bags while you stroll the greenspaces? Find your nearest Dubai luggage storage facility on the bounce app, your things will be safe there while you spend time in the park.
Al Barsha Pond Park
With a lovely manmade lake and a welcoming green space with flowers and benches, Al Barsha Pond Park is a much appreciated oasis found within the city limits in the southern districts of Dubai. There's quite a lot of space for you to explore as it covers about 52 acres of land, and the well maintained flowerbeds and shaded tree lined paths are the perfect places to relax or take a stroll.
There's also a 1.5 km running track that circles the lake in case you feel like being active, and it's not uncommon to see joggers and skaters using it throughout the day. Bike along a dedicated cycling path (visit the on site rental office where you can borrow a bicycle), go-kart or e-bike. A great way to beat the heat is to rent a pedal boat and get out onto the lake. There are also tennis courts, a football field and a volleyball net making it a popular place for families and friends to hang out and have a friendly sports match.
Speaking of families, those visiting with kids will definitely want to stop by the children's play area. By the park, there are cafes where you can grab refreshments, and the park comes alive every Saturday between 10 am and 8 pm when the Ripe Night Market is on, offering activities for the kids, yoga classes, and plenty of stalls selling food.
Safa Park is situated a couple of blocks away from Jumeirah Beach and is quite a popular place for locals to hang out. It's actually one of the oldest parks in Dubai and has been around since 1975, although back then it was sitting right on the edge of town. Over time it became surrounded by the ever evolving city and is the perfect place to take a break from the busy streets. Some of the top highlights of this green space are the sports courts and running tracks, as well as the bike rental services that you can use to explore the trails.
Here, you'll find volleyball courts, basketball courts and tennis courts, so make sure that you bring your sports equipment. There's also a manmade boating lake within the center of the park with pedal boats available for rent. Throughout the grounds, you'll find several play areas for small kids. Take a break at lunchtime to have a picnic or use their barbecue areas, and if you don't feel like cooking you'll find restaurants and cafes where you can dine instead. Before you leave the park take a minute to admire the views of the Dubai Water Canal and the Burj Khalifa.
At about 5 sq km in size, Mushrif Park holds many hidden gems for you to discover. This green space is just a bit older than Safa Park and was created is 1974. It's a fantastic place for bird watching since it's almost entirely covered by a natural ghaf forest and is home to several species including Orphean warblers, owls, black redstarts and hoopoes. You can spend quite a while here exploring their walking and biking trails and there's a children's playground, too. Use the barbecue areas to cook some food or treat yourself to a meal in nearby restaurants and cafes. Bring your bathing suit since Mushrif Park has a swimming pool, which is perfect for escaping the heat.
It's a fantastic place for tourists. There's an equestrian center and they offer pony and camel rides in the park. Test your sense of adventure on the exciting zip lining course at Adventura Park, and don't miss the model village in the heart of the park which has displays of architecture from all over the globe.
Dubai Creek Park
As one of the oldest and biggest parks in the Emirates, this is definitely one of the most popular parks in Dubai. Following Dubai Creek for about 2.6 km, it's a beautiful place to go on a walk and features stunning botanical gardens. There are a few mini play parks for the kids as well as barbeque and picnic facilities. Forgot to bring food for the family? No need to worry since there are cafes and restaurants right here on the grounds. Mini-golf, bike hire and go-karting is offered on site as well, so it's easy to spend an entire afternoon enjoying the leisure and entertainment options.
The Dubai Dolphinarium and science-based Children's City, which has a learning centre and Planetarium among other exhibits, makes it the ultimate destination for a family outing. Stop and marvel at the unforgettable views over the creek or take it all in from the floating cable cars.
At 51 hectares in size, this is no small park, and it's actually one of the bigger public green spaces in Dubai and definitely a place you'll want to visit. It's particularly popular among families, mostly thanks to its super cool Dinosaur Park which has moving dino models and a small museum where you can learn all about them. The Dubai Garden Glow is another famous attraction. Walk through a magical area decorated with bright and colorful lights that will make you feel as though you're in a fairytale. These two attractions are offered during the cooler months so keep them in mind if you're visiting in the winter.
By far one of the most iconic parts of this park is the glowing, golden Dubai Frame which has a 500 foot high viewing gallery, perfect for taking in the whole park and surrounding area and for learning about the history of this amazing city. If you're in town between October and May, try to visit on the first Saturday of the month when the flea market is on. Of course, this Dubai park has all of the other fantastic activities available in other locations like boating facilities on the lake, jogging paths, sheltered barbeque spaces, an adventure playground, restaurants, and even a miniature train.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden just sounds like a place that you'd want to visit and trust us when we say that you won't want to miss out on this one. Come here to see one of the most amazing of all of Dubai's parks with a huge floral garden that has really impressive displays. As you walk through its pathways you'll pass by intricate landscapes of flower beds plus a life-sized village, castle and other 3D exhibits covered in flowers. The star of the show is the A380 airplane which holds the title of being the biggest floral sculpture in the whole world.
The park is fun for people of all age groups and the Disney Avenue area, which has huge floral displays of your favorite Disney personalities, will be a favorite among small kids. There are often fun activities and events put on that are targeted towards younger children too, plus play areas, swings and a cabana with cushions and drapes where you can relax. Fun fact; this park covers 72,000 sq meters and has more than 150 million flowers! You should know that the park charges entry fees and does not allow you to bring your own food, but it does have restaurants and food kiosks inside.
JLT Dog Park
Here's one for all pet parents who want somewhere to let their four legged friends run around and have fun. Not all of the parks in Dubai are dog friendly, which is why it's important to have this one.
The 475 sq meter green space welcomes dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, as long as they are friendly with other dogs. It's a safe space for them to get their energy out and play in grassy areas, sand pits, as well as use equipment like tunnels and ramps. You'll find the park in Cluster H by the Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Dubai Hills Park
As one of the newer Dubai parks, you just know this one will be decked out with fun attractions and facilities. Dubai Hills Park is home to about 1,800 trees, several sports courts and a couple of choices of theme parks that suit different age groups so that everyone in the family can have a good time.
Cool off in the splash water park, spin around in the ice rink, show off your skills in the skate park or see if you can make it through the adventure playground course complete with challenging monkey bars, cargo nets and rope swings. You can go into the park but will need to pay for each attraction, or you can buy a day pass to have access to everything. It's one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Dubai.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
With both a beach and a green space, Al Mamzar Beach Park is one of the nicest places to spend some time outdoors in the northern part of the city. The park is located on a little peninsula that has you surrounded by the sea on three sides with great views of Sharjah. The main reason that people come here is to spend time on the beach, and there are actually about five different sandy strips where you can bathe in the sun.
In between the beaches, there's a beautifully maintained lawn where you can cool off under the palm trees and winding walking paths where locals like to go cycling and running. Inside the park, you'll also find a garden space with barbeque facilities, picnic spots, food kiosks and cafes. You can also play sports on their football, volleyball and basketball courts, and there's a skate park. You can also go snorkeling in the shallow areas of the beach.
Spending time in the great outdoors in Dubai
Dubai is an incredible, modern city with soaring skyscrapers and lively streets. It's a city with endless things to do, but sometimes you might want to relax in a fairly quiet place to spend some time in nature and recharge. Luckily for you, there are plenty of parks in Dubai, each one offering unique attractions that individuals, couples, groups of friends and families can all enjoy. On top of that they are all clean and well maintained, so make sure that you spend some time outside while you're in town.
You'll enjoy visiting these places and you'll want to explore more of the fantastic outdoor spaces in Dubai. Looking to see the sights from high above? Read our guide on the best rooftop bars in Dubai. Or see the city from a different angle at any one of the beaches near Dubai.