Al Fay Park covers an area of 27,500 sqm devised by biologists and indoor plant experts from the SLA, an international landscape design studio made up of 130 landscape designers, biologists, anthropologists and urban planners who design locations for life.
The studio spent approximately a year researching the nature and unique fauna of the region, which resulted in a plant book that describes optimal growth and life conditions as well as suggestions on which indigenous plants from the Arab Emirates to include in the project.
Al Fay Park which in Arabic means “The Shade Park”, (official hashtag #followtheshade) uses nature-based solutions to lower the temperature and create an optimal microclimate during the day.
The shade is provided by over 2,000 indigenous trees and bushes, including the Ghaf, the national tree of the UAE. These were all chosen specifically to reinforce the biodiversity of both the plants and the wild fauna (the plants also attract bees, pollinating insects, birds and animals) and to maximise natural freshness throughout the park. The sloping entrances channel cooling southern breezes towards the lower part of the park, while grass and bushes reduce sand infiltration. All these features have succeeded in reducing the park’s irrigation requirements by 40% compared to conventional parks. The resulting microclimate reduces both the temperature and traffic noise as well as offering the best possible social ecosystem for play, sport and free time.
Al Fay Park hosts multiple sports facilities, playing fields, street fitness, climbing walls, mini-golf, street food and a series of informal, open air seating areas. A path runs along the park’s boundaries, weaving its way between flowers, grass and trees, inviting visitors to explore the wild nature. Al Fay Park is popular in the evening too, and the artificial lighting system has been carefully integrated with the natural features thanks to the wide use of recessed luminaires that occupy a minimum amount of space. Linealuce mini luminaires run along the borders that mark out the green spaces and help to indicate paths clearly.
General lighting, including for the sports areas, is supplied by pole-mounted Palco inOut luminaires that recreate a natural lighting effect and cast shadows of the tree branches onto the ground. Some of the Palco luminaires are also equipped with gobos that project circles decorated with small luminous polka dots onto the paths, which are particularly popular with children. Palco projectors mounted on lower poles and arranged inside the green areas are also used to light the conical shelters that offer shade in areas where the trees cannot. During the night these structures stand out from the rest of the landscape thanks to the perfect luminous homogeneity created on their “corollas”.
Recessed Light Up Balisage and Earth luminaires have been used to light the trunks and foliage of the trees from underneath and from above they create a pattern of bright dots across the green spaces.
So, Abu Dhabi now has a park with natural habitats and authentic ecosystems that invites everyone to explore and interact with nature and relax together in an environment that is relaxing, calm and comfortable.
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