Activities for families and fitness enthusiasts at Umm Al Emarat Park this winter


Being outdoors has many benefits for our physical and mental health, for both adults and children. One of the capital’s most beloved green spaces, Umm Al Emarat Park – which turns 40 this year – celebrates the winter months with a host of activities, from family events to sessions focused on fitness.

The Park Market, launched last Friday, continues until March 18, from 4-11 p.m., and promises a fun night out for all age groups.

Those with kids can head to the ever-popular Petting Zoo, where little ones can interact with rabbits, ponies, pygmy goats, llamas, emus, and camels. Pets can only be fed park-approved food, so it’s also a good opportunity to learn how to develop little ones’ empathy for our animal friends.

Elsewhere, kids can enjoy the outdoor cinema on a grassy expanse, complete with popcorn. Cinema in the Park will screen kid-friendly films every Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Other activities include bubble and mud stations, kite flying, arts and crafts counters, storytelling sessions, magic and clown shows, live performances, and traveling entertainers.

Fitness enthusiasts can make the most of the park’s hiking trails and jogging tracks, while those looking to deepen their meditation skills can sign up for sessions hosted by Inner Space. These free classes will take place at the Jardin du Soir at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday until December 29 (except December 1).

Sessions are held alternately in Arabic and English, with the next, on Thursday, being held in Arabic. Slots are limited to 15 people and pre-booking is required.

Those who just feel like wandering around can browse the wares offered by local retailers.

Aldhara Fresh Market at Umm Al Emarat Park.  Victor Besa / The National

Sustainability is the order of the day at Umm Al Emarat Park, which favors handmade products from local vendors. Flea-market-style prop stalls sell resin art candles, abayas, crocheted items, silverware, custom hats and bags, skincare products, perfumes and fake but fashionable antiques. The park will also host a rotating gallery of artists.

Rasha Kablawi, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Umm Al Emarat Park, said, “We look forward to embracing the community around us to create a collaborative atmosphere to support local SMEs, empower women and bonding people…with lots of fun for the whole family.

Pre-book Inner Space sessions via WhatsApp on 050 795 2519. For more information visit

Updated: November 12, 2022, 7:55 a.m.

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Richard V. Johnson