Doha’s Most Popular Park: Dahl al Hamam
What Makes It Special: Large, European-style park.
Dahl al Hamam Park is unlike any other park in town — that is meant in a good way. Not only does it have it’s own resident cave, it has all the amenities a family needs to make an afternoon convenient.[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”right” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]
Also known as: That Big Park near Landmark
Size: 93,297 sq. mts.
Hours: Sun-Thur afternoon; Fri – Sat all day
✓ school age
✓ water dispenser
✓ shaded playground
✓ night lighting
✓ nearby mosque
✓ designated parking
✗ closed in the morning, sometimes
The Qatari word for cave is Dahel. Dahl al Hamam’s namesake cave is located on the northern side of the park close to the amphitheatre. A fence thoughtfully surrounds the perimetre to keep innocent children from falling in. While it is not possible to go spelunking, access has been granted to the well-connected and smooth-of-tongue on extremely rare occasions.
The rest of the park is punctuated by more than 50 types of plants. Colourful flowers line meandering paths, which in turn are speckled with the shadows of overhanging trees. It’s enough to make a European swoon. But not only. This park has won the affection of every nationality in the city, which makes it an even more attractive park. On any given day you might run into one of the Doha Mums groups that regularly meets here, Muslim men pausing for prayer or perhaps a woman offering to apply henna on your child’s hand for a small price. Dahl al Hamam’s position as one of the most loved parks is well-deserved.
It must be mentioned that one issue has marred the reputation of this park over the years. The opening hours are highly malleable, something one wouldn’t expect from a park of this size and popularity. Mornings are reserved for schools, which require advance approval from the Parks Department. But even during official park hours many reports abound about being turned away. Some report success in insisting to the guard that the park is officially open, therefore, they should be granted entry. Others simply wait at the gate and are permitted to enter 15 minutes later. The manager of the park has been notified of this discrepancy and has reported that she is working to resolve this issue. If it is unexpectedly closed, save your day by visiting one of the nearby parks (see list below).[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”left” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ] Directions
Address: Al Markhiya & Arab League Street; Madinat Khalifa North District
GPS: 25° 19’ 59” N, 51° 28’ 57” E
- From Al Markhiya Street driving away Landmark Mall
- right at Dahl Al Hamam R/A
- 1st slip road right (look for the sign to Quortoba Kindergarten)
- One of the parking lots is a few meters ahead at 1st right through guard gate
- From Al Markhiya Street driving away from Landmark Mall towards town
- After the Landmark Interchange
- 6th slip road right
Al Ghariya Park
Al Huwailah Park 3
Al Huwaila Park 2
Drive 300 metres past Dahl al Hamam Parking entrance. Pick up a healthy snack at Taima’a Vegetables & Fruit or a hot picnic dinner at Al-Anfal Cafeteria & Juice Stall. In this small block of shops you’ll also find a Future Book Shop, Doha Novelty, and an Al Meera grocery store.
Three playgrounds, two of which are amply shaded! That deserves an exclamation point. A mosaic hump marks a play area especially for children under the age of three. The wall is high enough to slow down the unsteady of feet, yet low enough for parents to rest on. Across the sidewalk is a larger playground suitable for older children up to about 10 years old. A grassy knoll beside the playground is frequently spread with blankets and picnicking families. To the north one of the playgrounds has all manner of climbing equipment, balance beams, swings and monkey bars, which might even tempt older children. More raucous entertainment takes place by the soccer field, skate pipe, basketball court and the bridge over blue concrete “waterbed”, which makes a great inline skating track and where children with small bikes can zoom down the mild inclines. The basketball court and half-pipe are not without their cracks but, for lack of alternatives, serves their purpose. A primary-coloured playground was newly installed mid-2012 for younger children.
To the north an amphitheatre stands at the ready, just waiting for an impromptu reenactment of Gladiator. It is usually empty so use it for your child’s theatrical leanings. To the south is a large brick courtyard where the occasional concert and theatre programme is held. Don’t ask for a schedule; there isn’t one. This is also the place you’ll sometimes find a few vendors selling their wares.
If you’re looking for a bit of quiet, small alcoves throughout the park can always be found.
A restaurant at the main entrance fills empty stomachs with cotton candy, juice and the regular assortment of snacks.