In pictures: Walk among 130,000 trees in UAE's newest free-for-all green sanctuary

Khaleej Times gives an exclusive sneak peek into Shajar, which is spread over 1.6 million square feet of lush greenery

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Shajar, a new family-friendly destination dedicated to trees. Photos: Shihab
Shajar, a new family-friendly destination dedicated to trees. Photos: Shihab

Published: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 12:53 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2023, 11:14 PM

Shajar, which translates to 'trees' in Arabic, is spread over 1.6 million square feet of lush greenery, inviting visitors to enjoy a leisurely stroll among 130,000 plants. The best part - it's free and conveniently situated right in the heart of the UAE.

The Aljada community in Sharjah has opened one of the largest nurseries in the country, and Khaleej Times gives the readers an exclusive sneak peek into this other-worldly facility. The family-friendly and educational attraction by developer Arada offers visitors the chance to learn more about how the trees are grown.

The over 50 different species of trees have been carefully selected and nurtured to adapt to the local climate. Those wishing to visit only need to register on the development's website for free entry. Here's a preview of what to expect while touring Shajar:

Welcome Centre

Before starting the tour, the welcome centre tells visitors more about the benefits of trees, the effects of deforestation and biodiversity issues, while encouraging them to take action against climate change.

Greenhouse

The first stop during the tour is at the climate-controlled greenhouse, where thousands of trees are propagated. Plant propagation is the process by which new plants grow from various sources, including seeds, cuttings, and other plant parts. Plants like Cottonwood Hibiscus, Neem and Indian cork trees are grown here for six months.

Seedling area

Once the plants are strong enough, they are moved to the seedling area, which is shaded. This is so that seedlings can be protected from the direct sun with enough natural light to flourish. Each seedling has a supportive bamboo stake to help it grow straight where it will grow for six months.

Sapling area

The average age of the trees in this third stage is between one and two years. Here the trees are planted into larger pots to give them more area to grow. They are trimmed to encourage a healthy, canopy growth.

Open space

Once the trees grow to a certain height, they are moved to open spaces where they continue to thrive and grow, until they are transported to various Arada facilities around the UAE.

Workshop

After the tour, visitors have the opportunity to plant their own Ghaf trees in pots. These will be germinated in the tree house before they go through the growth journey and find a permanent home.

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