An existing park dedicated in 2007 has failed to draw the numbers of visitors necessary to energize it as a vital public space. Recognizing that Khalifa Park will ultimately serve as the centerpiece of a new planned district as part of the Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, the Tourism Development and Investment Company’ (TDIC) commissioned a design team led by GREC to envision and redevelop the park into a world-class attraction and cultural destination.

The development program includes cultural institutions, family entertainment, hotel with conference center, public gathering spaces and an extensive natural environment in an interpretive landscape experience. The centerpiece of the development is a large lagoon which unifies the attractions and offers stunning views. A monumental fountain anchors the lagoon and provides an evening light and water show that extends throughout the park.

The cultural attractions include an arts district with galleries, a center for traditional Islamic arts, shops and a jazz dinner club. The family entertainment district features a children’s museum, restaurants, and a botanical biodome sculpted to echo the desert dunes. Parking for visitors and guests is located under the structured landscape topography.

The design team’s charge includes thorough analysis and proposed solutions to economic, construction, operational, and project phasing challenges.

by the numbers



the team

Design Architect: GREC Architects
Developer: Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC)
Market Research and Planning: AECOM
Landscape Design: Valley Crest Design Studio

GREC Architects
GREC Architects
Abu Dhabi, UAE


The design team led by GREC was charged with envisioning a world-class destination to include cultural institutions, family entertainment, and public gathering spaces in an extensive landscaped natural environment. A large lagoon unifies the attractions and is anchored by a monumental fountain providing evening light and water shows. A botanical biodome sculpted to echo the desert dunes houses rain and fog forests and lowland marsh environments.

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