Qatar: This park has got revamped
There is no denying the beauty of Doha’s Corniche with its watery, sun-kissed vista and the impressive skyline of West Bay’s cloud-skimming skyscrapers, but the panorama just got a whole lot better with the revamped Al Bidda Park.
From the middle of the new park, you can admire Doha’s striking skyline as it sprouts from a rolling grassy incline full of trees, shrubs, flowers, wild grasses, enticing canopied walkways and shimmering fountains. It’s a view that provokes a feeling of well-being that only green spaces can elicit and Al Bidda Park has plenty of it.
At over 200 hectares, the new Al Bidda Park is one of Doha’s largest parks, and it offers a myriad of ways to enjoy the vast space. Walking, running and cycling tracks; open-air gymnasiums, including a women’s only gym; and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts are all available free of charge. Kids will never get bored with the seven playgrounds across the site, and there’s even a green maze in development. You can also find natural rock structures, a green wadi, an amphitheatre, three garden bridges, a camel trail, a camel splash pad, and a huge stepped pyramid where the National flag is displayed.
From south to north, Majlis Al Taawon Street intersects the park from the Amiri Diwan to the general post office, creating a section of park along the Corniche, where you will find underground parking, two kids’ playgrounds and an abundance of seating areas. On the west side of Majlis Al Taawon Street are three main Al Bidda Park, Arumailah Park and Wadi Al Sail Park. Al Bidda Park and Arumailah Park are separated by Al Rumailah Street, and Arumailah Park and Wadi Al Sail Park are separated by Mohammad Bin Thani Street. Street crossings are available to access each park, and there are three beautifully landscaped garden bridges for crossing between Al Bidda and Arumailah Parks. Facilities, activities and features are evenly distributed among the various park areas.
The kids play park areas are all slightly different in theme, i.e. pirate ships, castles, adventurers, etc. However, they all have equipment to suit different age ranges, including sand pits and clamber-on toys, swings in various sizes, see-saws, climbing frames and interactive activities and slides. A couple of the parks also have zip slides that will be immensely popular with kids of all ages—even some adults no doubt!
Indeed, there are so many options for exercise and explorations that you are bound to work up an appetite. Fortunately, there are barbequing areas available across the park, set into grassy mounds like Hobbit houses, providing some privacy and wind shelter. Each station has a table and benches, bin and lighting on the adjacent pathway. In the future, various cafes, kiosks and restaurants will provide food and drinks for hungry park goers.
Seating is provided throughout the park. You can find a vast array of wooden benches at each of the playparks, under the shade of some of the many trees, and around the open grass spaces. Concrete benches and tables are dotted around the park in open spaces, under pagoda type structures and at the barbequing areas.
If you are looking to get out of the sun, you can find shade all over the park. Most importantly, the kids play areas are shaded, but pagodas, canopied walkways and trees also provide some welcome relief from the sun’s glare.
Once the sun goes down, you will find the park is well lit. Lighting columns and path lighting are provided across all areas of the park, including the kids play areas and the barbequing facilities.
As urban parks go in Doha, Al Bidda is full of attractions. Not only does it enhance the city, but it’s designed to get people active, to enable people to socialise, and to give everyone a little food for the soul—even our furry friends. Al Bidda Park is the first and only pet-friendly park.
So pull on your trainers, pack the barbeque, and bring your dog to discover it for yourself!
Safety and security
The park is well monitored by mounted security cameras, and security personnel can be found all over, especially around the kids’ areas.
The play areas have rubber flooring, however, the park is bounded on every side by main roads, and none of the play parks have fencing around them. Keeping a close eye on kids is recommended.
Bike racks are available but you will need to bring a lock and key. In the future, lockers will also be available.
First Aid provision is in each of the main park areas, and the exact location of each First Aid Centre can be found on the Wayfinder maps provided around the park.
Location: The new Al Bidda Park is located adjacent to the Corniche, stretching south to north from Al Diwan Street to Khalifa Street, and to the west by Al Rayyan Road, Al Khaleej Street (and Hamad Medical City), and Al Istiqlal Street.
Parking: Parking is provided for each area of the park, at the Corniche (adjacent to Arumailah park), at Wadi Al Sail, and at Al Bidda.
Via the Corniche: Travelling south on Al Corniche Road, enter the Corniche underground parking on the right-hand side via Al Aqsa Street.
Or, to enter the Corniche underground parking to the north of the site, from Al Aqsa Street follow the road round on to Majlis Al Taawon Street. At Al Rumailah Street, turn right, and the entrance to the parking is on the right-hand side of the road.
Via Lusail: Travelling south on Lusail Expressway, join Al Istiqlal Street. Follow the road, passing the park on the left, to the Civil Defence roundabout. Take the fourth exit on the roundabout and enter the Wadi Al Sail underground parking on the right-hand side after the Fire Station Gallery.
Via Doha Expressway: Exit on to Khalifa Street and follow the road to the interchange adjacent to the Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque. Take a right to Al Istiqlal Street. Follow the road, passing the park on the left, to the Civil Defence roundabout. Take the fourth exit on the roundabout and enter the Wadi Al Sail underground parking on the right-hand side after the Fire Station Gallery.
Or, exit Doha Expressway on toAl Rayyan Street and follow the road to the park, which will be on the left-hand side after the Mannai roundabout. Make a U-turn at the next junction and enter the Al Bidda underground parking on the right.
Nearby landmarks: The Amiri Diwan Palace, The Corniche, Hamad Medical City, Amiri Defence Forces Compound, The Qatar National Theatre, Fire Station Gallery, Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque
Public transport: Public bus stops are located adjacent to the Al Wadi Sail and the Al Bidda underground parking entrances.
Taxi ranks are located adjacent to all of the underground parking entrances.
Two metro stations will also be available in the near future within the boundaries of the Al Bidda Park area and the Wadi Al Sail Park area.
Hours: The park would appear to be open 24 hours per day as there is no fencing around it
Food and beverages: Though no refreshments are available at the park currently, in the not too distant future cafes, cafeterias and refreshment kiosks will open across the three park areas
Toilet facilities: There are three restroom facilities in the Al Bidda Park area, six in the Arumailah Park area and three in the Wadi Al Sail Park area
Nearby mosque: A new mosque has been built in the grounds of the Arumailah Park area and prayer rooms are available in both the Al Bidda Park area and the Wadi Al Sail Park area
Dress code: Sportswear for sports facility users and conservative dress for general recreation.
- No motorised vehicles (except for wheelchairs and those service buggies and bikes used by park staff).
- Cyclists are welcome but need to keep to the cycle paths, consider pedestrian safety and keep visible at night.
- Pet owners must keep dogs on a leash at all times and clean up after them!
Doha Family Tips:
- Mornings and lunchtimes are the quietest times to visit, especially if you want to stake your claim on a barbeque.
- There are no water taps at the park. So if you plan to fire up the grill, bring items that don’t need cleaning or washing whilst you are at the park. And make sure to bring enough drinking water for your dog if they are tagging along.
- Golf buggies are available around the park. Considering the size of the park, this is a welcome addition to a day’s activities, especially in the hotter months. Ask any of the security staff, and they can radio for a buggy for you.
- It is worth noting that parts of Al Bidda Park and Wadi Al Sail are still under construction. Keeping kids away from any areas where construction activities are being undertaken would be advised.