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Dubai is known as the El Dorado of the East, the proverbial city of gold from mythology. A visit to the city as a tourist can be a rewarding experience as the city has myriad place of interest and recreation. In many ways Dubai, which is the principle city of the United Arab Emirates is an enchanting city. The authorities come up with new avenues for delighting the visitor, again and again.

The latest addition to Dubai are two unique parks. The first is the Butterfly park and the second is the Garden of lights. the Garden of Lights in particular is something unique and I am not aware of a similar garden anywhere else in the world. The Garden of Lights has opened just a few weeks  back and when I read about it, I decided to take my girl who was visiting me from America for a spin to the place. I stay in Abu Dhabi and that is about 180 km from Dubai. Frankly, I have never checked the exact distance as in the UAE , you measure distance just by the time taken. In my  Ford Mustang, the drive takes just over an hour with a stop at one of the eateries on the way for a burger and a cup of coffee. 

The Garden of Lights opens at 4 pm and remains open till 11 pm. One can drive to the Garden and park the car at the parking lot. A visitor can take a taxi or  travel by the local public transport( which is extremely comfortable, unlike the BEST transport in Mumbai). The entrance ticket price to the park is a bit steep and will set you back by AED 60. This corresponds to Rs 1200 approximately  at the prevalent rate of exchange.  however after you have bought the entrance ticket and finished visiting the park , the realization dawns that it was a stupendous experience. The price then does not appear steep.

The park is the latest addition to the entertainment avenues of Dubai city and I was told this is the first such park in the world. Nowhere is there a similar park. This is a feather in the cap of Dubai, where the authorities are always looking ahead. A notice at the entrance of the park states that Dubai took 40 years to come to this stage and people can imagine where the city will reach in the next 40 years.  I was told the park cost 12 million dollars and is in many ways a unique park. My American friend had never seen such a park even in the USA and it enthralled her.  She summed up the park in one sentence by stating " it creates a magical fairy tale atmosphere".rsz img 20160212 194922

I personally relate the park to an extension of the famous tales from the Middle East contained in the " Thousand and One Nights". The park uses imaginative lights to create a fairy tale atmosphere. One will need at least a couple of hours to walk though the park and imbibe the fairy tale atmosphere.

The park creates a magical sultans palace and fort. The park also creates an agriculture field . A highlight is a set of lights that bring out the world of Ants.  There is also a prehistoric section replete with Dinosaurs and other animals. They are extremely animated and life like and the best part is that they are created  with electric lights. 

One can start from one end of the park which houses the animal world. There are huge creations of lions and tigers at a water hole drinking water. There are elephants and birds and all of them have a realistic look. The agricultural field showing crops sown are an absolute delight. The Sultans palace and castle with turrets is simply breathtaking. There is also a stage there and a small man made lake. This is the place where entertainment shows are held ever hour. The show lasts for about 20 minutes and attracts a massive crowd.

The entertainment consists of ballet dances by men and women. No sign of prudery here as the girls cavort in shorts and add to the surrealist atmosphere. One can almost feel that one has entered the world of the Arabian Nights. The show is held in the background of the Sultans palace and definitely worth a watch. 

The park is a spread out one and along with the animal world there are children's favorite characters like ducks and dog pets. In such a place one will need to eat. There are excellent eating joints, meticulously clean and tidy. They serve  excellent beef, Chicken and meat servings with burgers and hot dogs. One can also take meat Biryani  and an assorted complement of ice creams, sodas and cold drinks. However by and large Indian food like Dal and vegetable is not available, but Indians visiting the park and there are hundreds of them are happy to feast on beef and Chicken and cheese.  I have no inhibitions on beef and me and my girl had a snack of beef burgers and coffee. A good thing is that no alcohol  is served.

We left the park close to closing time and drove to the Mercure resort at Jebel Hafeet. More on that later. I can say that a visit to the park is one very enjoyable moment and one feels life is really worth living. How nice it would be that India also similarly progresses. Dubai is the city of gold and all credit to the Sheikh Maktoum, the Emir who is the ruler of Dubai. We need half a dozen men like him in India, not the Lalu's who are dividing the nation on caste lines.

Incidentally I took more than 2 dozen photos of the park and also of me and my American girl. I have reproduced two of them here for benefit of readers, to give an idea of the park  

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