Although Covid-related restrictions have been relaxed for adults in the UAE for some time now, children under 12 years old have not been allowed to go to any of the reopened entertainment venues (aside from parks and beaches) in Dubai as yet for safety reasons.
In Sharjah, however, it's a different story. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has announced the reopening of one of the emirate’s leading family entertainment destinations, Al Montazah Parks, for visitors - including children. This falls under Shurooq’s plan to gradually reopen all its destinations in the emirate after the implementation of comprehensive sterilisation procedures strictly adhering to the health and safety protocols issued by the UAE government to curb the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
First opened in 2018, Al Montazah Parks features a range of kid-friendly water slides and swimming pools, as well as family-friendly attractions such as a tea cup ride, Viking swing and a giant ferris wheel. Split into two main areas, Al Montazah Parks consists of ‘Pearls Kingdom’, a water park inspired by the myth of Princess Pearl; and the amusement park ‘Island of Legends’, inspired by a time-travel story through nine countries, based on a collection of legends and myths.
Precautionary measures undertaken by Shurooq at Al Montazah Parks include following physical distancing protocols, comprehensive sterilisation of the destination facilities and attractions, and reducing the number of visitors to the destination to 30% of its maximum capacity. Signs and stickers have been pasted on the floor next to each entertainment feature in the park to guide visitors to maintain a 2-metre distance from each other while waiting for their turns.
In addition to sterilisation booths, thermal cameras are in place to monitor the temperature of every visitor entering the destination. A medical team is also on hand to deal with emergency cases, along with a supervisory team charged with ensuring that all precautions are complied with, including the use of face masks and gloves and discouraging gatherings, to ensure the well-being and safety of visitors while protecting their privacy.
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, chief operating officer of Shurooq, said: “The reopening of Al Montazah Parks offers families and children an opportunity to enjoy themselves in a safe and worry-free environment. We will continue to adhere strictly to all safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus, while ensuring our guests across age groups the thrill and adventure they are seeking after months of being home quarantined.”
He emphasised that the health and safety of all visitors, especially children, as well as its staff are paramount. He also reassured that as long as visitors adhered to the physical distancing rules and safety instructions provided by supervisors across Shurooq’s leisure and ecotourism destinations, they will be safe at all their favourite destinations in the emirate, like the Butterfly House at Al Noor Island, the green landscapes at Al Majaz Waterfront, the Kids Fun House in Al Qasba and Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project.
Read more: 12 of Dubai's best parks for children
Khalid Ibrahim Al Qaseer, General Manager of Al Montazah Parks, said: “Al Montazah Parks are open from 10am to 7pm each day with ladies' day every Tuesday, with all necessary precautions being put into action such as body temperatures of all employees taken twice a day, in addition to thermal screening for all visitors before entering the destination. Furthermore, medical units are available and on standby for handling any type of medical emergencies. The destination will facilitate smart payment methods and utilise the latest technology to sterilise banknotes.”
He added: “The park is equipped with staff members who will be supervising all the preventive measures being put in place on a daily and hourly basis, such as ensuring that gloves, face masks and physical distancing are applied across all areas of the destination, as well as make sure that the meal bags in restaurants as well as select products in retail stores across Al Montazah Parks are sterilised and packed properly to ensure the safety of all visitors."
Since Eid Al-Fitr, Shurooq has reopened all its tourist and recreational destinations including Al Qasba, The Flag Island, Al Noor Island, Al Majaz Waterfront, the Heart of Sharjah, Maraya Art Centre,1971 Design Space, Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project and the Khorfakkan Beach on the east coast of the emirate, in addition to the state-of-the-art City Sightseeing Sharjah tour buses.
An unlimited day pass ticket to Al Montazah Parks is Dh100 for children between 81cm-120cm and Dh120 for children above 120cm and adults.