Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Park life in Dubai

with 2 comments

Every now and then I’m overcome with a desperate need to force my materialistic, mall-rat children to spend some time outdoors in the fresh air, inhaling the scent of freshly cut grass while scooting about on cheap plastic toys.

Today was one of those days, so off we trotted to Safa Park.

And, if Dubai does one thing well, it’s public parks. Safa Park has a boating lake; numerous children’s playgrounds; a display of orange and yellow flowers that would definitely win bronze at Chelsea Flower Show; plentiful, clean public toilets; an outlet of Malik Burger that I’ve never seen open in 13 years; a mini Ferris wheel; and even some rides (that I’ve also never seen open) – a merry-go-round and bumper cars to be precise.


Beautiful flowers at Safa Park


My favourite, though, is the “Jumping Tram Poling” (aka trampolining), where the list of rules is so long it took me two frames to capture them in all their glory (see below). At the bottom, under rules such as “Do not jump with tongue between the teeth” it says, “Legal action will be taken for not complying with the above instructions.”

Read the rules, and then remember that, along with bouncing a cheque, drinking in alcohol without a licence and murdering someone, you could also be jailed for “turning a somersault without your legs rather stretched on the carpet.”

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Rules for Jumping Tram Poling


... And don't hit your elbows on the carpet, you naughty sausage.


Written by mrsdubai

December 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm

2 Responses

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  1. That’s so funny… Will head to Safa Park today to se eit live:)


    December 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

  2. Hey Mrs. D,

    Some of my fondest memories when I was a child are barbecuing with my family at Safa Park. This is before we moved into a villa at Jumeirah. In 1992 I was 8 and we used to live in a small apartment near the clock tower in Deira. On a couple of Friday mornings every year, dad would bundle my sister and me into the car and drive down to Safa. Dad would flip burgers and hot dogs while sipping rum poured into a coke can (we would have to drink up have the coke so dad could pour in the rum). We would roll around the grass and our friends (whose parents would be sipping rum with dad or vodka + 7-up with mum) would have running races to see who could reach the jungle gym first or who could swing upside down on it the longest.

    Parents weren’t so paranoid in those days! We would swing on the swing set and jump off it to see who could reach the farthest away from the swings. Just like long jumps. My sister had light brown curly hair and all the Arab kids would think she’s Arab. They would come up to her and start talking in Arabic and she would respond back in a language she invented that included a lot of throat and guttural sounds while we would laugh and say this is how they talk in Oman (the farthest place imaginable).

    One of the mums who was pregnant and couldn’t drink would sit us down and tell us stories about how Sheikh Rashid fought a dragon who had laid siege to Dubai and how the dragon flew away to Abu Dhabi where it still lives. We would then eat our burgers and the hot dogs (just the sausage, we’d find the nearest trash can and promptly dump the buns). At around 5, the families would pack up (the kids had the job of cleaning up) and leave the park. Dad would carry a sack of bbq charcoal on his shoulders, cigarette in his mouth and ray ban aviators glistening in the setting sun.

    Then Dubai changed and it became all about the money. Or maybe it was all money all along and we were too young to comprehend. Around 1994, kids would talk about how many cars their parents owned or how many TVs were in the house. The Lion King had come out and if you didn’t have a Simba T-Shirt you weren’t part of that special clique.

    We left the following year. Good times, great memories.



    December 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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