Dubai miracle garden

What's going on with the parks in Dubai? With entry fees like Dh50 and Dh60 per head, are people feeling a bit miffed? And will visitors return m

Posted 6 months ago in Places and Regions.

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Every year from mid-November to mid-May, a 72,000 sqm space full of scents and colours comes to life. This incredible experience is one of Cityland’s signature creations – Dubai Miracle Garden. It was launched on Valentine’s Day, 2013, and is set in the heart of Dubailand.

Seeing the garden in full bloom with its 150 million flowers arranged in colourful arches and patterns, and the myriad shapes they form, is truly magnificent. Dubai Miracle Garden’s breathtaking landscaping has earned two Guinness World Records for the largest vertical garden in 2013 and world’s largest floral sculpture forming the shape of an Airbus A380 in 2016.

We received the accolade for the Tallest Topiary Sculpture on 25 Feb 2018. The 18 metre sculpture feature is Disney’s first character floral display in the Middle East and is made from almost 100,000 plants and flowers, and weighs almost 35tons.

Each year Dubai Miracle Garden reinvents itself, as we bring a whole new concept and design experience to our visitors. The community has given its own endorsement with more than 1.5 million visitors per year.What's going on with the parks in Dubai? With entry fees like Dh50 and Dh60 per head, are people feeling a bit miffed? And will visitors return more than once?

A large family of ten, including nephews and nieces, paid Dh500 to enter Dubai's Butterfly Garden. "It's too much," said Um-Masoud, an Emirati from Sharjah who had come to the garden with her sisters and their children. "It should be maximum Dh10 or Dh15. Dh50 is too much. We can't stay here for more than half an hour. What is there to do?" By way of suggestion to the management, Um-Masoud says: "And there's no prayer room here also."

As you enter the garden compound, there is a museum to peruse. Preserved forms of 30-40 species of printed butterflies are on display in various shapes and sizes; an Apias Nero here, a Papilo Demoleus there, interspersed with frames of supposedly inspiring quotations: "Blossom like a butterfly," "keep calm and love nature". There are also large portraits of the royal family decorated with real butterflies. Each frame, according to the tour guide took 3-4 days to assemble and 5-6 trained people to work on.

The footfalls are rewarding, if the tour guides words are to be believed. Dec 24 was allegedly a packed day with 6,000 visitors. That's a revenue of Dh3,00,000 in one day.

The too-expensive complaint comes from more than one family. People seem to concur with the fact that it's okay as a one-time visit, to get the novelty factor out of the way. "My parents are visiting, so we thought we would bring them here," says Wesam Ishak. Wesam's mother, who doesn't know English, conveys through her translator son: "The garden was very nice. It is good for the butterflies to have a nice natural surrounding that has been made for them."

"Last year we came to Miracle Garden, this year Butterfly Garden, next year we aren't coming back," Wesam said.

Inside the garden there are lovebirds and parrots, and hordes of visitors lifting butterflies to position them for photo ops. The butterflies are more active at noon, says one of the guides. When they're not perched on various heads and arms of visitors, their meals are fruit: a slice of watermelon, a cross section of a decaying banana, honey and warm water. All this is in the surroundings of plants that require a high level of humidity, which would explain the smell of dampness.

Another mother-in-law, Corina, visiting from Sri Lanka, said: "It's a good place especially for the kids...however, they could give some more information given."

Jasna Novakovic, finance director of Move One, brought her seven-year-old daughter Tijana to see the butterflies. "It's quite nice," she says, "but it's a lot of the same thing." Jasna took Tijana to Miracle Garden next door before they reached the butterfly garden, and she says, "Dh60 there and hundred here (for both mother and daughter), maybe they could combine the fee, and lower it."

Ansa Mansoor, mother of 6-year-old Rayaan and 4-year-old Emaan, while exiting the garden with husband Mansoor said: "We had planned to go to Miracle Garden after this, but we're just going to go home. It's too expensive." Miracle Garden fee is Dh30

Last month, Dubai Garden Glow opened at Zaabeel Park. The entry is Dh60 for all above three years. Residents already complained about the high entry fee. However, the Dubai Municipality and the developers of the garden have defended the high fee saying the region's first glow-in-the-night garden spread across 40 acres is worth it with all the glitter of 4 million lights and shows galore to entertain the visitors. "You can spend the entire evening from 4pm to 11pm and make the most of the money with a unique experience," said one official.

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