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JustHere | December 3, 2016

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MIA Park: Picture perfect park on a pier

Christine Gerber Rutt
     

If you only visit one park in Doha, make it the MIA Park.

It is not only beautiful, it is also useable. Children can run, walk or roll against the backdrop of the Doha skyline (makes for a stunning photo shoot for visiting grandparents). Adults can walk next to the water on the palm-lined promenade, sip karak in the cafe or play a game of pick-up football.
The opening of this park a few years ago changed the urban landscape and culture of Doha.The park is host to a wide variety of recurring and special activities such as Bootcamp, concerts, kite flying, charity events, food festivals, a weekly craft bazaar, film viewings and more. See the MIA Park website for updated listing of events.

Entrance to the park is free but a few activities do charge a fee.

Type: Public
Established: 2011
Size: 280,000 sq. meters
Hours: Daily 10:30 – 23:00; except Tuesday when it is closed.

Thumbs Up

✓ toddlers
✓ school age
✓ tweens
✓ teens
✓ toilets (located by cafes)
✓ water dispenser
✓ kiosk
✓ cafe
✓ souvenir shop
✓ playground
✓ soccer
✓ biking
✓ walking
✓ benches
✓ shade
✓ Wi-fi
✓ designated parking

Thumbs Down

✗ playground not shaded
✗ inadequate parking during peak times
✗ no barbeque

Directions

Park in the MIA parking lot and walk straight towards the water. When you hit green grass, you’re in the park.
Alternative parking is available if you take the Doha Port exit along the Corniche just before the MIA roundabout.

Tip

A perfect day outing for visitors and residents: visit the Museum of Islamic Art in the morning. Head to the park after for a light lunch and some fresh air.


Playground
Something for all ages. Really. Under 5’s can have their turn at the newly-constructed, separate play area while older children can romp in the playground next to it. If your child gets hot while playing in the sun, take them to the nearby water fountain (a miniature version of the one leading to the MIA) and splash a bit (but do refrain from jumping in).

Bungee Trampoline
The Bungee Trampoline makes this the only playground in Doha where you can easily convince both a 4 year-old and a 14 year-old to go. Six trampolines are located next to the playground. Open Sun, Mon, Wed 10:30 am – 8:30 pm. QR25 for 5 minutes.

Paddle Boats
Located in a cove in the bay. Walk round the waters edge until you see the dock. Life jackets available. 12 pm to dusk. QR25 for 30 minutes.

Bikes & Scooters
Bikes (in rather good condition) are available for children and adults. QR25 an hour. Rent at the park’s souvenir shop located at the pier end of the park. Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 12 – 5 pm and Fri, Sat 10:30 am – 5 pm.

Sculpture Plaza
Located at the far tip of the pier. This is the location of the steel sculpture entitled “7”, designed by the much-hyped artist Richard Serra. 7 is basically seven vertical steel plates. It adds visual interest to the landscape and will surely be photographed from all angles, ad nauseam by residents and tourists alike. The climate pretty much ensures the sculpture will begin to rust, so do watch that children don’t put their hands in their mouths after touching it.

Kiosk Cafe
Worth every dirham. Sip a cup of some of the best coffee in town with what is arguably one of the best views in town in one of the hippest outdoor cafes in town. Sells salads, juice, soda, coffee, karak, croissants, fancy Alain Ducasse snacks and desserts. A second cafe just past the first sells freshly made waffles and ice cream. Open 12:00 – 22:00.

Souvenir Shop
If you feel the urge to buy small souvenirs you would do well to buy some here. Camel lollipop anyone?

MIA-park-resized

 

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