When you’re in Dubai for an extended period of time, it can feel like you’re living in a building site located in a sandpit. You may find yourself longing to see a blade of grass, some colour in a sea of beige and grey, a living thing other than a mosquito or a pigeon. When I found myself excitedly searching for the handful of government planted trees decorating a small section if the motorway, I knew it was time to pay my first visit to the colourful floral oasis that is the Dubai Miracle Garden.
Dubai’s unofficial motto is ‘Go big or go home’ and the Miracle Garden takes a very ‘Dubai’ approach to florals. Why just have some pink flowers arranged in a square when you can make them into a giant ballgown? Welcome to Dubai Miracle Garden! You’ll get a pretty good idea of what lies ahead when you’re welcomed to the Miracle Garden by these guys:
This isn’t your average floral display. If Willy Wonka’s factory had a garden or the Mad Hatter threw a garden party instead of a tea party, this is the kind of psychedelic creation they’d come up with.
As far as I’m aware, the attractions change each year, but these are the highlights from my visit in November 2019. If you want to be surprised when you go, scroll down to the end of the article to avoid the photos and videos ahead and find all the information you need.
Where else can you see giant cats, elephants, horses and penguins made of leaves?
A life-size floral version of the Emirates A380. This holds the impressive, if slightly bizarre, accolade of being the world’s largest flower structure in the shape of an Airbus380.
Trying to find the bathrooms? Just look for the giant sink…
The hearts passage is stunning and makes the perfect frame if you stop for a photo.
The sun shining through the colourful array of umbrellas which form the roof near the shops.
Why? Why not?
I would wear this dress.
The most adorable houses.
Plenty for Disney fans to see, including an 18-metre-high Mikey Mouse.
This incredible castle is one of the best places to stop for a photo.
You can see all of the main attractions in the garden within a couple of hours, but I’d recommend getting a drink and sitting by the pond for a while to escape the sun and enjoy the views.
A walk round the Miracle Garden is a unique experience and a great place to go if you want to feel like you’ve escaped the city without actually having to go very far.
If you’d like to visit, here’s what you need to know:
When to go:
The garden is open from November – April, as they have to close it during summer time for maintenance. From morning until early afternoon it wasn’t too crowded, so consider going then if you’d rather go when it quieter, as it seemed to be getting busier in the evening.
What to bring:
Suncream, as there are shady areas, but you’ll be doing a lot of walking exposed to the sun, and obviously a camera is essential.
You can buy them at the garden – they don’t seem to be sold online.
Adults (12 years old and above): 55AED – approximately £11.50 / $15
Children (ages 3 – 12): 40AED – approximately £8 / $11
Free for children under 3 and people with disabilities (in the UAE, signs will refer to “People of determination”)
Sunday – Thursday: 9am – 9pm
Fridays: 9am – 11pm
Saturdays: 9am – 10pm
There are plenty of restaurants (both American chain restaurants and places serving middle eastern food) as well as cafes and stalls serving things like corn on the cob, ice cream and fruit juices. You can also easily find bathrooms, seating and some shops selling clothes and souvenirs.
Have you been to the Dubai Miracle Garden (or somewhere like it)? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!
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