“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it,” said Roald Dahl. Three decades after the Big Friendly Giant author’s beloved creatures charmed the world, they have a place they can call home in 2017.
Here in Dubai, children can stand next to a walking Camarosaurus dinosaur and roam through a wonderland of their own. They can also gaze upon Indian and African elephants of various sizes hand-painted in every colour of the rainbow.
At Dubai Garden Glow, little ones can discover a park that magically comes to life at night. Gulf News went on a journey with the youngest visitors of this mystical, magical world and we were amazed by what we saw.
It may be 2017, but at this park dinosaurs from 100 million years ago walk up to you and even soar above your head. Adriana’s sister, Eyva Marleen, is six and can’t wait to explore. “We just took a long ride on a caterpillar,” says Eyva, waving her hands in the air.
It’s 5pm on a Thursday – time for the weekend to begin. “Let’s explore dinosaur land,” yells eight-year-old Adriana Paz, who is visiting with her friends from school.
Blake Jyrwa, four years old, is led by the hand by his older brother, Derek. “It’s fun to see the coloured fish light up at night,” he says, his eyes sparkling with wonder.
They are here with their aunt Leonie, who is visiting from India. “I can see giant blue and red ants,” says Blake as we pass a fountain of rainbows. As dusk nears, the park takes on many different hues.
“Let’s stay in focus guys,” shouts Adriana, laughing as she runs ahead of the pack to go jump on the trampolines. Eight-year-old Sima Tarek Al Kaissy sprints across. Gasping, she says, “I saw dinosaur eggs.”
Ten-year-old Daniel Leo appreciates the little things. “The fresh aroma of the flowers in this park is so cool.”
Andrea Leal says, “We’ve watched all the Jurassic Park movies and I just love dinosaurs and wonder if they would have lived now.” I prod her on, being unable to recall when it was that I’d last seen the dinosaur films myself.
“Did you know giant mushrooms are the place where dinosaurs hide for nap time?” says Derek, now wearing a Star Wars jersey. You can see that he’s already exploring infinity and beyond.
Eyva Marleen tugs on my hand. “Look, there’s a talking tree!” The children run over to ask the tree questions about recycling.
We soon meet a charming family from Mexico. Andrea and Adriana Montelongo both rush around the park, pausing only to catch their breath. “We came here to be with friends and breathe some fresh air.”
As we make our way to another section I hear, “Look this pineapple is taller than the security guard,” says Maria. The guard smiles.
As I make my way to the exit, another family enters. “I got a glow bracelet to wear on my arm at night,” says Jeeja Nair. It’s her first visit to the park. “My friends told me there’s a magical butterfly – I came to see it.”
So yes, there is magic around every corner. All you need is a dash of imagination.
This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.