all play and no work at the journey park in dubai
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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All play and no work at The Journey park in Dubai

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Egypt Today, egypt today All play and no work at The Journey park in Dubai

Emily Carpenter plays with her daughter Betsy,
Dubai - Arab Today

A new park/adventure playground in Dubai is what children’s dreams are made of. It features a mud kitchen, a pirate ship, a treehouse, climbing walls, bow and arrows for archery, a waterfall to play in, fountains to splash in and plenty of places to get dirty.
The Journey, which opened last month, has already welcomed more than 5,000 children. Located just off Dubai’s Kite Beach, next to the skate park, it’s the latest addition to the Fazza Beach Club project, and is intended to reconnect children with nature.
It’s designed with youngsters above the age of 4 in mind, but Candy Fanucci, who’s in charge of the site’s day-to-day running, says any child who’s able to walk will find something to enjoy.
The biggest features are the sturdy wooden tree houses (complete with double-glazed windows), which are connected by raised platforms or rope bridges. Children have the option of climbing the stairs to reach them, or venturing up small climbing walls or rope ladders.
There’s also a vegetable patch and herb garden, and mango, lemon and fig trees.
Fanucci, who moved to Dubai 15 years ago, experienced more outdoor life growing up than the average youngster, being raised on a game reserve in South Africa.
"I was very privileged to have that childhood," she says. "I had mountains as far as the eye could see, and wild animals in our garden. I really grew up in a natural environment."
Life for children today is very different, she says, especially when it comes to the things that keep them entertained.
"Modern technology has just taken over everything. We are losing an entire generation; it’s scary. They lose their ability to play and get dirty, so it’s our responsibility to nurture that."
Fanucci, who has worked for years for the office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, says she’s passionate about children, and has always wanted to create something specifically for them to experience the outdoors.
The project, which is in the first of two phases, was dreamt up three years ago.
The following years were filled with "sketch after sketch after sketch", Fanucci says, and lots of liaising with landscapers to finesse the designs. Work began last year, and it took eight months for The Journey to be completed.
There are already plans to double its size, with suggestions that the new extension will be home to farmyard animals, but Fanucci remains coy, because the licences are still being processed.
In the meantime, The Journey will really come alive on ­February 1. There will be a coffee shop serving food grown on site, cooking classes, a farmers’ market, antenatal classes, yoga sessions, karate classes, children’s art and crafts sessions, nature trails, and the opportunity for parents to host birthday parties. There will also be an urban forest school, where children can learn about nature, animals and survival skills, such as how to build a fire.
Once a month, children will take over the farmers’ market, and sell items that they have made. They will also be able to pick fruit and vegetables, for use in their cooking classes.
"Some people grow up in apartments, and they don’t know where fruit and vegetables come from," Fanucci says. "Here, we can teach them about their food, and show them how to pick and cook with it."
For parents with younger children, there are smaller indoor areas with wooden train sets and other toys, and changing tables in the men’s and women’s bathrooms. Foam fish float in a rock pool at the bottom of the meandering waterfall, with foam rods to fish with.
Fanucci says she has trained staff to pay close attention to what the children are doing – because many of them will inevitably be out of sight of their parents – but not to encroach on their play.

Source: The National


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all play and no work at the journey park in dubai all play and no work at the journey park in dubai

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