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Posted On: 14 February 2015 07:10 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:52 pm

After Rumailah’s closure, Souq Waqif park comes as breath of fresh air

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Fenced-off and sealed finally.
Were it not for the renovation plans by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP), Rumailah Park on Friday too would readily have taken in the visitors, mostly families and expatriate couples, who finally settled for the grassy spots surrounding the area.
Some of the visitors said they were quite saddened by the park’s total closure, which was announced by the MMUP on November 1 last year. But it took a little more than three months after the official notice for Rumailah to finally bid the public farewell.
A makeshift barricade made of nylon string and plastic ribbons had initially signalled what seemed to be the end of the park’s glorious days. After the celebration of Qatar National Day in December last year, the MMUP replaced the string with metal fences, which were installed in phases.
“Maybe it’s just the sunset but there seems to be a dark shadow hanging over the park and the trees that don’t seem to be welcoming anymore,” lamented one Asian bachelor, who said he would frequent the park during the weekends.
But such wasn’t the case with nearby Souq Waqif Park, which was opened to the public a few days before the celebration of Spring Festival last month.
The newly-opened park was readily welcomed families and expatriates, who enjoy spending their weekends in the sunshine and the sea breeze coming from the adjacent bay along the corniche.
Its well-manicured landscape makes it an ideal venue for brisk walking and serves as an ideal alternative to the corniche, which is usually packed with many visitors and holidaymakers.
Also, the health conscious can take advantage of the outdoor fitness machines at the end of the park. The exercise equipment is available to adults as well as children.
Another crowd puller is the park’s playground, which boasts of a spacious cubby house and slide, kiddie swings, stationary cars, and colourful spring riders.
Situated in between Doha Corniche and Souq Waqif, the park is sheltered from vehicular traffic allowing parents to let loose their kids, who can enjoy bike rides, rollerblades, scooters, and kiddie cars around the area.
Just beside the park’s small amphitheatre is a wide grassy area where children can play football. Similar areas can also be found around the park, which serve as ideal spots for kite flying, badminton, and picnics.
An employee said the newly-opened park was an instant hit with many families and expatriates.