Spring was never a thing in Dubai until Valentine’s Day 2013 when spring sprung eternally in the form of the Dubai Miracle Garden. For the last 10 years, this miraculous attraction – the world’s largest flower garden, by the way – has added a dash of magic and expanded Dubaiites’ outdoor excursions. The flower garden’s 12th edition is now ready to blossom. From October 1, 2023 this floral wonderland of 150 million flowers will once again open to the public.
So, you’ll want to make a note in your calendars between 9am-9pm (10pm on weekends) to stop and smell the roses. And the daisies, petunias, marigolds and even tulips! Some of them shaped into spectacular 3D floral sculptures such as a floating lady, a cuddly green teddy bear and a colossal Guinness World Record-winning Airbus A380! Amsterdam could never, pffft.
This year, besides a laundry list of staggering floral creations that the Dubai Miracle Garden is famous for, there’s also been a sunny new addition – a field full of cheery, golden sunflowers. No need to jet off to the sunflower state of Kansas for swoon-worthy photo backdrops when this dreamy tourist attraction in Dubailand, Al Barsha South exists.
Now circling back to that laundry of list floral topiary and visually stunning inventions I’d mentioned. It’s easy to get lost amidst this sprawling 72,000sq ft paradise’s manicured walkways (I’d know). So we’ve folded them into bite-sized pointers that you can use as a guide to lead yourself down the garden path.
1. Emirates A380 Airbus
The beloved ‘superjumbo’ craft gets a botanical makeover at this garden. Built painstakingly over 4 months by genius landscapers, it’s an homage to Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates who own an impressive fleet of these double-decker airplanes. This life-size floral replica is built to mimic the same proportions of the actual A380 aircraft using 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants grown on a steel and concrete shell. Such is the dedication to detail, that this flowery installation even has moving engine fans! Set in the centre of Dubai Miracle Garden, it’s kind of the beating heart of the destination and quite the ‘runway’ success.
2. A Giant Teddy Bear
Grizzly bears get grassy at the Dubai Miracle Garden. This gargantuan topiary teddy bear is a horticultural feat that” make your jaw drop and then leave them open, as your mouth moves from ‘woaahh’ to ‘awww’. Holding a giant botanical heart in its hands, it’s like something out of a child’s fantasy. But then that applies to this entire fresh flower outdoor garden that thrives for months on end in the midst of a desert city lovingly called the ‘sandpit’. *Back to woooaahhh*
3. Floating Lady
Sculptures don’t get much more ridiculously wonderful than this one of a woman made entirely of flowers suspended mid-air, arms outstretched carefree. ‘Floral fashion’ gets literal here as the lady’s dress is a carpet of red and white petunias gently flowing down to the ground. Her hair, too, is a waterfall of cascading flowers. Is she levitating towards the sky or falling to the ground? What is the physics behind how a bunch of leaves and petals and grass are holding up this dame? When your head hurts from all those questions buzzing around like a bee, take a leaf out of the floating lady’s book dress and lay on a patch of grass. Gaze at the sky and let nature heal you.
3. 3D Floral Designs
You’re never going to look at animals and everyday things the same again after witnessing the weird and wonderful things transformed into flowerbeds and planters here. Grungy graffitied cars have flowers spilling out the hood so you can put the petal to the metal. Swans and peacocks’ fancy feathers are made of foliage and ferns. Humanoid ants march around with a bouquet of flowers bursting out of their chest. Larger-than-life toy trains have wagons that double up as planter boxes. This entire flower-themed attraction is like a poet’s fever dream. Willam Wordsworth would never run out of inspiration here.
4. Lake Park
Speaking of Lake District poets, you’ve got to stroll by Miracle Garden’s Lake Park. The flamingoes might be plastic, but everything else here, from the flower-made villas to the grassy frogs leaping out of lilypads, to rustic wooden boats docked around things are either made of flora or are filled with them. This part of Dubai Miracle Garden is a rainbow explosion of vibrant purple, pink, orange and blue flowers. Which is why the park recommends that budding photographers set their smartphones to pro or HDR mode for pics with saturated colours.
5. Heart Tunnel
Romance blossoms in giant heart-shaped floral arches here that’s prime real estate for pre-wedding photoshoots and proposals. Okay, this entire venue is photoshoot bait but this colourful heart-shaped tunnel is a place that the smitten gravitate to, like moths to a flame. Only fitting for a tourist attraction that launched on Valentine’s Day, right? Getting a snap of yourself framed by the hearts, uninterrupted by people is a Herculean task because of this structure’s popularity. People will keep sprouting up like a many-headed Hydra just when you thought you had a clean shot. But patience (and maybe Photoshop) is worth the effort here as the vivid blossoms in pink and purple and red and green are a dreamy backdrop that makes hearts skip a beat.
6. Smurfs Village
Dubai Miracle Garden is known for teaming up with production powerhouses to dream up floral versions of beloved childhood characters. In years past, a deal with Disney brought us a massive Mickey Mouse made of leaves and petals. Now, IMG has backed a Smurfs Village here. So fans (kids and adults) of the jolly blue mushroom-dwellers can enjoy a visually stunning spectacle that’ll help beat the blues of life. There’s Smurf Village, Smurf Activity Area and Smurf Topiaries.
7. Floral Castle
Something like Dubai Miracle Garden that feels like it’s straight out of a storybook just begs for a castle. And so lo and behold, a Disney-style Cinderella castle appeared in this floral kingdom made of, you guessed it, all the flowers imaginable. This enchanting structure has fortresses, and towering spires and is lined with huge topiary horses and twirling dancers whose flower skirts actually swirl.
8. Floral Clock
It’s time to end our guide to unmissable Dubai Miracle Garden attractions with a floral clock. Because all good things must come to an end. The 15-metre floral clock is a permanent fixture of the garden and its designs are changed seasonally to reflect the ebb and flow of time. Made of real flowers and plants, it tells the real time of day too thanks to mechanical parts. Right now, that clock is a ticking reminder for you to go visit Dubai Miracle Garden before it closes. Because time, tide and seasonal gardens wait for no one!