15 January 2005

A Picnic in the Park

It's the weekend and, like most of Dubai on a sunny day with temperatures below 30 degrees, we took a picnic and headed for the park.

Creekside Park is one of a range of parks the Dubai municipality maintains, all very neat and clean with acres of lawns, children's playgrounds and running tracks for those joggers who will brave the heat. On a Friday it's heaving with families out for the day, kids playing footie, parents chatting - although the more traditional groups will see the women and men sitting in separate gatherings, black abayas over here and white dishdasha over there. Everyone crowds onto large rugs (although some people bring folding chairs, tables and more sophisticated kit), taking over shady areas on the lawn. Later in the day the men start the grill fires, the scent of halal meat wafts across the park, things calm down.

Creek park in particular has other attractions. Apart from the four-wheeled bikes for hire to cycle round the track with there is a train and best of all, a cable car! The 35 minute-ride carries us along the creek from Garhoud bridge on one end to Maktoum bridge on the other, taking in the adventure park, the marina and golf club on the other creek side and the hustle of boats on the creek itself. In the distance the other way we could even see the Burj Al Arab and Sheik Zayed Rd, but most fun was, as Anna pointed out, that it is possible to see straight down onto people's plates!

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