Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 March 2018

Dubai’s new garden lights up Guinness bid with green message

DUBAI // It took more than 200,000 man-hours to complete, with 150 artisans from across the globe recruited to aid Dubai’s latest attempt at a Guinness World Record.

A sneak preview of the Dubai Garden Glow in Zabeel Park was offered to Dubai Municipality workers and their families ahead of the full public opening on Wednesday.

Flowers and trees are not the only things to have been growing in the park over the past 18 months.

At just over 12 metres tall, a recreation of the Burj Khalifa – made from 330,000 small medicine bottles – is intended to be the world’s largest model of a national landmark made from recycled materials.

Dh30 million was spent on building the Dubai Garden Glow, which is expected to draw 5,000 visitors a day.

But Hussain Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, said the Dubai Garden Glow was intended to deliver an important message about recycling.

“This garden is unique, as it is the first time something like this has been done in this area,” Mr Lootah said.

“Dubai Municipality has been working with private companies to create this project. There are about 4 million small lights.

“They are bright and colourful but use low-electricity-consumption bulbs.

“They have created beautiful pictures of flowers, trees and a lot of different animals.”

A porcelain model of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has also been built from more than 90,000 recycled porcelain cups, plates and spoons. Every attraction at the Dubai Garden Glow is illuminated by low-watt bulbs.

“We hope it will be popular with the many visitors we are expecting,” Mr Lootah said.

“It is designed for everyone to enjoy, not just children. There is a very high safety requirement, so we have used specialist people to work on this. Many of the items are handmade.

“It is not just a fun idea for children with the animals, but there is also an important message to recycle.”

The municipality initially planned to open the garden until April, but it has extended that until next Ramadan because of the garden’s popularity.

There is a daily water and light show, an animal safari and candyland for children to explore.

Dubai Garden Glow has been developed by The Retailers Investment, in association with the municipality.

Artisans created several experiences that will take visitors from the wildebeest migration of the Kenyan Masai Mara to the tulips of the Netherlands. Visitors to the soft opening night were treated to live performances by international, regional and local artists and acrobats from a floating stage on the park’s lake.

The spectacle impressed Amar Shaltoni, 33, an engineer living in Al Mamzar, who was visiting with his wife and son.

“First impressions are good. It looks amazing,” he said. “There is a lot to see, but I think it has a good message – to recycle and reuse, to turn old things into something beautiful.”

The creative minds behind the project said that Dubai Garden Glow was “a vision of the emirate’s commitment towards providing continuous recreation, leisure and entertainment, for residents and visitors to enjoy”.

A municipality spokesman said: “Dubai prides itself as one of the leading leisure and entertainment destinations of the world, and we are committed to invest in Dubai’s commitment to continuously offer innovative, family-focused entertainment.”

Entry is free for children under three years of age, and Dh60 for others. Dubai Garden Glow is in Area B at Zabeel Park and will be open daily from 4pm to 11pm.