Al Fay Park
The coolest place in town! With Al Fay Park, SLA creates Abu Dhabi’s first biodiversity park
2019 — 2021
The Department of Municipalities and Transport, Abu Dhabi
Design lead and responsible for planting strategy
Partners & Collaborators
Parsons (architect of record), iGuzzini (lighting), Barari (contractor)
Al Fay Park in Abu Dhabi represents a paradigm shift in how to design and implement city nature in the dense megacities of the Middle East.
The 27,500 m2 park is the first urban park in UAE focusing on biodiversity, social activities and microclimate optimization. Designed aesthetically and climatically to be “the coolest place in town”.
Besides world-class facilities for multiple sports and activities and children’s playgrounds, the winding forest track is one of Al Fay’s main attractions. Al Fay Park is designed utilizing the latest knowledge and research in microclimate optimization and urban sustainability. Its high density of trees, plus modern irrigation systems, thus ensures that it uses 40 percent less water than traditional parks while providing a cool, comfortable, and unique round-the-clock place for all residents and visitors in Abu Dhabi to meet, play and live.
As the first biodiversity park in the UAE, Al Fay Park contains more than 2,000 native trees and bushes – including the national Ghaf trees that have been replanted from desert nurseries into the park – all specifically chosen to strengthen biodiversity for both plants and wildlife and to maximize natural cooling throughout the park.
The park design is devised through SLA’s inhouse biologists and planting experts’ yearlong research studies of the region’s unique nature and wildlife. A research published in SLA’s own internal plant book covering all the native plant species of the UAE, their optimal growing and living conditions, and how to integrate them into design.