Dubai, UAE: Health and fitness enthusiasts are welcoming a plan to build a new outdoor adventure park in Dubai that is designed to put residents through their paces.
Scheduled to open later this year, the 2,322-square-metre Wire World park, to be built in Meydan district alongside the racecourse, will challenge visitors with 70 obstacles, zip lines and rope swings set across trees and rocks.
Melissa Lowry, an Abu Dhabi-based personal trainer, said such an attraction was ideal for encouraging people to be more active, particularly in the outdoors.
"These types of parks are great, especially in the UAE because a lot of expatriates are really active," said the outdoor sports enthusiast.
"There’s definitely a market for it here. I don’t have the luxury of doing these things even in Texas. So it seems like its more accessible and affordable here, which is why I always try to take advantage of those opportunities."
Ms Lowry added such facilities were needed to give people an alternative to spending their free time "just going to eat or shopping".
"I love the idea of being an adult and being able to participate in these things.
"In this way it’s a physical and mental achievement. It’s definitely appealing for people who come to visit when there are these things to do here."
The park will add to Dubai’s growing list of adventure sport attractions, such as SkyDive Dubai, Ski Dubai and the Al Qudra desert cycle path.
"It sounds amazing," said Dubai-based Laura Coughlin. The 28-year-old has taken part in several local outdoor sporting events, such as the Wadi Adventure Race in Al Ain and triathlons.
"Skydive Dubai has just added outdoor monkey bars and people are going there rather than just going to the gym. So my guess is that something similar will happen with this park.
"I already go to the bike track at Meydan," Ms Coughlin said. "It’s a really nice track and it’s a really nice community of people who go down there.
"The problem is there’s nothing else there so it will be a nice draw if there’s other outdoor adventure stuff to do."
As the park develops, a bike track will be added, complete with an obstacle course and a bungee trampoline, along with kite and surfboard facilities.
It is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2014.
Danny Haddad, chief executive officer and partner of WL Hospitality Group, the park’s Dubai-based developer, said it will be "the largest of its kind in the world".
"We feel the park, due to its size, varied offerings and green credentials, is unique to the region and offers something that has never been experienced here before."
Sustainability is at the heart of the park’s design, which is being created using natural materials, including wood and stone with special attention paid to the natural environment.
"Our goal at this park, and at future parks, is without doubt the promotion of natural outdoor sports in a secure and sustainable environment," said Yanal Abaza, head of business development, sports and leisure for Meydan Group.
"I look forward to replicating this success at future developments."
© The NationalApr 2014