Oxygen Park Review
Oxygen Park is an impressively designed and landscaped open space that incorporates sports, recreation and heritage in a relatively cool environment. Although it is suitable for all ages, the park will be most enjoyable for sporty families with older children, looking for a place to kick a ball or run free. Families with younger children will still enjoy taking leisurely walks through the sculpted green pathways.
Hailed as the green lungs of Education City, the massive 130,000-square-metre park was commissioned by Qatar Foundation to be an outdoor oasis for the campus community and the general public. It is a breath of fresh air to wander amongst the planted borders, stroll under cascading waterfalls, dip toes into shallow water features, sit on grassy banks and watch your children as they play in the covered play area.
Doha Family Rating
The park is divided into two distinct zones—one for sports and one for recreation. The west side of the park is the sports zone. It encompasses upper- and lower-level sports bowls. The lower level has three circular, multi-use sports pitches, which include volleyball courts and a running track. A semi-covered and cooled pathway runs around the edge of the sports pitches. The covered walkway, with its subtle cooling units, provides a welcome respite from the sun and, with seating and dim lighting, it also provides a place to relax. Cascading waterfalls over the edge of the pathway covering offer a great photo opportunity and a refreshing spray of cold water as you pass. Grassy banks and the amphitheatre seating provide space to sit and watch sporting activities and events. The upper level of the sports zone incorporates a horse-riding track, a picnic and seating area, hills and an encircling walkway overlooking the sports bowls below.
The recreation zone, to the northeast of the site, encompasses a heritage area (still under construction), a children’s playground, an amphitheatre and individual gardens. Wind flows through the site via subtly carved wind passages, keeping the air fresh. The covered children’s playground is peppered with undulating mounds that kids can scale to reach the various play equipment. Concrete seating and grassy banks around the area are ideal for picnics in the cooler months. The play equipment is rather basic, but the adjacent amphitheatre has stepped water fountains for splashing around in, and the paths running in and around the various gardens provide more than enough adventure for little ones.
There are no fences or gates and, as the surrounding areas are completed, the park will flow unbroken into the campus grounds and roads, so families with children who like to roam far and wide need to be extra vigilant!
Oxygen Park is essentially complete, however it is almost entirely surrounded by construction hoarding where areas that link the park to existing campus buildings and other adjacent areas are being completed. At the time of writing, it is not yet clear whether the park will have its own toilet facilities, refreshments or convenient parking facilities.
Co-ordinates: 25.325847, 51.445017
Location: Education City, in between the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Centre and Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
Directions: The ways in and out of Education City change frequently with construction, so take note that the follow directions may change:
- From the Corniche, turn on to Al Khalifa Street.
- Continue on Al Khalifa Street as it turns into Al Luqta Street.
- Pass through Slope Roundabout (the under-construction Al Luqta and Al Gharaffa/Al Huwar intersection).
- At the next roundabout, take the fourth exit back towards the Corniche and turn right on the slip road into Education City.
- At the first junction turn left, follow the road to a roundabout and turn left.
- Follow the road past the HBKU Student Centre round to the south end, and current entrance, to the park (opposite the Jancubi Residence Halls).
Parking: Multi-storey and underground parking are available, though not particularly close to the park. An area of rough ground next to the park’s southern entrance provides temporary parking nearby.
Accessibility: Smooth concrete pathways provide access to all areas of the site. Links between upper and lower levels of the site are provided by stairs or sloped pathways.
Hours: Daily 06:00–21:00
Food and beverages: No places to buy food or refreshments inside the park, however the HBKU Student Center offers a number of options in its food court, including Elevation Burger, Zaatar W Zeit, Papa John’s Pizza and more.
Toilet facilities: No toilet facilities within the park grounds; however, the HBKU Student Center has several bathrooms.
Nearby mosque: Yes, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies Mosque.
Dress code: Sportswear for sports facility users and conservative dress for general recreation
Things to note:
- Access around the site is via a smooth, unbroken concrete pathway with sloping walkways and stairs to access differing levels.
- Seating is plentiful and well incorporated into the park structures, including plenty of grassy mounds to sit and watch the world go by or have a picnic on.
- Shading is provided to some walkways, one of the gardens and the play area, and newly planted trees will provide ample shade once they have grown. A number of grass-roofed buildings provide air-conditioned seating, but it isn’t clear whether these will be for events, for hire or for general public use.
- Lighting around the site is plentiful, so evening playdates, strolls or a game of football to burn off some steam are easy to do.
- Bins, including receptacles for recycling waste (metal, paper, plastics and glass), are stationed all around the park.