First look: Dubai's new nature park for kids opens at tropical rainforest

A full-day pass costs Dh69 for a child and an accompanying adult


Nasreen Abdulla

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Photos by Rahul Gajjar
Photos by Rahul Gajjar

Published: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 2:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 5:48 PM

The Green Planet has opened a brand new outdoor shaded nature park — complete with treehouses, an obstacle course, and a nature trail — just in time for winter. Designed for children between the ages of 4 and 14, the park has nine gardens in which plants from all around the world are being grown.

“Our new nature park spans over 1,000sqm and has some brand-new animatronic bugs,” said Erik Rohrkaste, curator at the Green Planet.

“It features things like tarantulas, centipedes, snails, all of which can be found inside the biodome as well. So, the kids can see the animatronics and then go inside the biome to see the real ones, too.”

The adventure trail at the nature park has nine different treehouses, slides and obstacles for children to explore. From lush palms and leafy tropical species to serene zen gardens and elegant orchids, the park houses an array of plants from unique corners of the world.

There is also a separate soft play area, featuring some fun animal character designs. For the month of October, there is a special Spooky Planet, which includes a Halloween maze, spooky decorations, as well as some new activities, such as pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, and face painting.

Priced at Dh69, a full-day adult pass will grant a child and an accompanying adult access to the nature park, the soft play area and the cafe.

Education programme

According to Erik, the Green Planet focuses on educating children about animals.

“We already have a very vast school programme,” he said. “We have many field trips coming here every school year. The kids see these animals in books and then to see them in real life here in Dubai is a very unique and offers a more tangible experience for them.”

He said the immersive experience is also a great bonding experience for the family. “You don't just see the animals,” he said.

“You're actually walking through their home. You see the lemurs jump past you and a bird fly across your face. It's an incredibly immersive experience for guests to enjoy. And of course, here in the desert, it's quite a unique opportunity. So, I think the families enjoy it, connect with it, and hopefully get inspired with our awareness and conservation effort.”

As a curator, Erik is in charge of the animals, deciding the exhibits and the design and ensuring what kind of education material is available in the bio-dome. “We focus on conservation,” he said. “So, if there are animals that have an important conservation message, we make sure it is included in the Green Planet. We are not purely entertainment. We also focus on the educational message. We want to bring awareness to animals and species that need it.”

First opened in 2016, the Green Planet is one of the only indoor rainforests in the region and is home to more than 3,000 plants and animals including birds, reptiles, and fishes.


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