Barzan Olympic Park (http://www.barzanpark.net/en-us/aboutthepark.aspx) is situated in Umm Salal, north of Doha, accessed through Exit 16 of Al Shamal/North Road. Not many people have known this new park, as it wasn’t until 29 April 2012 that it was inaugurated to be the first Olympic park in the state of Qatar. But once you pay a visit to the park, you’ll know how this small park can become your favorite one.
The park includes well-kept grass and green area, cafeteria, kids zone, mosque, cycling track, fountains, walking/jogging lanes and restrooms.
We visited the park on the way home from Al Khor on 27 Oct 2012; short enough that we couldn’t explore and try all of the facilities within the park. We promised ourselves to come back some day.UPDATE: We’re back on 2 Nov 2012 evening. The park was already frequented by many people though not as crowded as Al Bidda Park. Bike rental, cafeteria, Baskin Robbins are open in the evening and night.
The park is completely enclosed by a composite fence made of steel grilles and stone cladded fence walls/columns and controlled through a security gate. After paying a 5QR per person/ticket to Security we were given access to the park via a turnstile. Once we entered we have three options: going left to large tent area houses kids playground, going right to leaping fountain and to start jogging or going straight to go to cafeteria.
The spanking brand new playgrounds will be much adored by the kids. From mini rock climbing, typical slides of any size and swings, to mini flying fox and hide-and-seek houses, to fitness exercise equipment.
Across the walking lane is a Bicycle Track in an E-shape route for kids and family to enjoy riding in single, twin and four-seater bikes. While riding your bike within approximately 180M length of track, you can enjoy an artificial Lake with Fountain, soft landscaping as well as small architectural model of prominent landmarks of Qatar such as Qatar University building, Barzan Tower, and Clock Tower. Other landmarks are also placed all over the park such as the legendary Sheraton, Emiri Diwan, National Mosque and Museum of Islamic Art.
During our visit, the bicycle rental counter was closed so we couldn’t verify how much it would cost and or for how long. UPDATE: Bike rental is 5QR per lap.
The jogging lane is a rubber sports flooring lane with an approximate distance of 500m alongside the walking lane. Marked at every 50m with Sporting for Life slogan , the lane provides good exercise.
Another feature of this park is the availability of many sitting areas and benches all over the park. The shaded sitting areas come with different capacities from two 4-person bench area to as big as twelve or more 4-person bench area. All is provided with tables and covered by tent.
Missing your sand for your kids? Don’t worry. The park offers two sandbox areas equipped with plastic beach toys you can imagine.
On the Leaping Jet Fountain, kids may be interested in immersing themselves in this 15-m diameter and 2m high fountain after exhausted with playground. The fountain has a 2-min interval between stop and next start.
We didn’t use facilities like mosque, toilet and cafeteria during our short visit (closed during our visit; apart from central cafeteria there is Baskin Robbins counter at bicycle track area) so we couldn’t comment on them. There are two football playgrounds, two tennis courts, basketball court, swimming pool nearby but not sure how to access and use these facilities. UPDATE: Cafeteria is selling light snacks (i.e. chips, popcorn) and Arabic light meals. There are separate mosques for man and woman.
I confirmed to Security that we can have picnic and bring food from outside but BBQ is not allowed. The park also prohibits smoking. UPDATE: No own bike/scooter is allowed.
The only drawback of the park is that no free wifi provided. As the park will soon become one of the favorites, ICTQatar may need to consider making the park an e-Park.
From Doha: Drive Al Shamal Road northwardly and take Exit 16 Interchange (just after Woqod Petrol Station) to the left. Follow the road and make a U-turn just before roundabout where a brown sign pointing direction to Barzan Olympic Park. The road will lead you passing Umm Salal Health Center, Police Station, Immigration, and Civil Defence. Go straight at the roundabout and then turn left at the next intersection where Barzan Youth Center is located at the left-corner. Follow the road for about 200m or so until you find the park on your left.
From North: You can take Exit 16 and follow the above direction or take a shortcut about 500m before Exit 16 where you can drive (temporary) access road that lead you to intersection. Turn left, follow the road until you come to the next intersection where Barzan Youth Center is located and make a right turn. Follow the road for about 200m or so until you find the park on your left.
Coordinate: 25°27’25″N 51°24’20″E (click to open Wikimapia showing the park)
Saturday to Wednesday: 6am to 10pm
Thursday: 6am to 11pm
Friday: 2pm – 11pm
Fee: 5QR per person
above 6 years old. Not sure if this includes rental bike. Probably not. UPDATE: Another 5QR per lap for bike rental
Parking: parking slots along front fences or open area across the park to allow direct entry to the park.