Al Hafiya Picnic Park, developed by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), as part of Al Hafiya Nature Reserve located in Sharjah’s Kalba city, began to receive visitors after the completion of development works. It has recently opened its doors to visitors.
Al Hafiya Picnic Park is part of Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, the largest eco-tourism project in the United Arab Emirates and the region at large. Shurooq is developing the project based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, as part of His Highness’ initiatives in the Eastern Region that aim to promote tourism and provide leisure and service facilities for the residents and visitors of the region.
Development works carried out by Shurooq in the picnic park included the construction of numerous vital facilities, featuring children playgrounds, an observation platform for viewing animals in the protected area, a ticketing office, an Administration Building, a prayer room for men and another for women. In the future, places will be allocated for barbecue, along with fast food and beverages kiosk.
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Operating Officer of (Shurooq), said, “This project is part of Shurooq’s strategy to develop tourist destinations in all areas of the Emirate of Sharjah. We are working on the construction and development of projects and destinations that attract more tourists to the Emirate, especially in specialized areas, like family, environmental and heritage tourism. This will contribute to Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, revealed by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), which aims to reach the number of 10 million tourists by 2021.
Al Qaseer emphasized that the development of the park is part of the first phase of Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, which includes the rehabilitation of nature reserves (Al Hafiya and Al Qurm) in Kalba City, in cooperation with Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA), the release of animals and birds, construction of a centre and a variety of shows of birds of prey, as well as a special center for visitors within the protected area.
Through the development of Al Hafiya Picnic Park, (Shurooq) seeks to reinforce its position as one of the family picnic areas in Kalba Eco-Tourism Project, which aims to reduce environmental deterioration resulting from killing animals and destruction of plants. It also aims to conserve biodiversity and restore and protect some extinct species. It will also help to develop eco-tourism sector in the UAE, which is one of the latest tourist attractions in the world.