We visited MIA Park during its first opening to public last Friday afternoon. The Park was actually opened since 15 December but to the VIPs and special guests only. The opening activities covered many activities including free use of bungee trampoline, bouncy castle and playground. (not sure if bouncy castle will be permanent). MIA Park is an excellent addition to Doha’s public space. Though at the time of visit, shades are not much (particularly useful for visit during hotter months), the park is really enjoyable.
This 62-acre park, designed by Hiroshi Okamoto includes about two kilometers of lighted pedestrian pathways shaded by native palm trees with magnificent view to Doha skylines. Visitors will also find paddle boats for rent in a small cove in Doha Bay (not operational during our visit – in the future it will not be free – QR25 according to QMA FB news feed), as well as two cafés and one kiosk offering souvenirs and other gift items. Year-round public activities at MIA Park will include film screenings, sports events, storytelling programs and art workshops. MIA Park will be developed in phases, with additional elements and amenities to be announced in the future.
Not to be missed on the western edge of crescent shape promenade is the massive steel sculpture entitled ‘7’, by world-famous artist Richard Serra. The 60m long sculpture plaza, specially designed to support ‘7’, is clad in black granite and is surrounded by water, with stairs rising from the water’s edge on the south side.
MIA Park is conveniently located on the waterfront in the grounds of the MIA, right off the Corniche Road through the Port Road entrance; entrance is free of charge. Visitors will be able to access the park through the parking area of the Museum of Islamic Art or they may park their vehicles at a new parking area adjacent to the Doha Port. The future MIA Park operating hours to the public will be as follows:
Sunday 1030 – 2300
Monday 1030 – 2300
Wednesday 1030 – 2300
Thursday 1200 – 2300
Friday 1400 – 2300
Saturday 1200 – 2300
No special prayer area in the park (assuming Moslem should go to MIA for praying) unfortunately. Free wifi was said available but I haven’t tried yet. Toilets are available near the cafes (left side cafe is for cold beverages, right cafe is for hot beverages). The cafe design itself is interesting, with Arabic pattern and modern seating designs.