After a short preview, Oxygen Park to remain closed until late 2016



Story and photos by Paulo Fugen.

The Doha public had a chance to explore the brand new Oxygen Park yesterday, which was temporarily opened to help host activities for the country’s National Sports Day celebration.

It will be the only chance they get for a while, as the premises, located on the east side of the Education City campus next to the HBKU Student Center, will be closed until September this year at the earliest, according to Muna Al Sulaiti, project engineer at Qatar Foundation Capital Projects.

Al Sulaiti said the park has mostly finished construction, but Qatar Foundation is still waiting on a contractor to deliver park furniture, including benches, signs and trash cans, before they can invite the Ministry of Interior’s Civil Defence to inspect the premises. She added that she needed to borrow trash cans from other projects in order to prepare the park for National Sports Day.

Oxygen Park is a 130,000 meters squared area divided into two sections. The first area, located between the Janoubi Residence Halls and the HBKU Student Center, is split into two levels: ground and below- ground, with the ground level featuring horse riding tracks. “This is a big selling point for the park,” Al Sulaiti said.

The lower level has three bowl-shaped fields that are outlined by running tracks. These three fields hold sports facilities with four multi-purpose pitches suited for a wide range of sports and two volleyball pitches, while a third field sits empty but holds multiple electric boxes. Al Sulaiti said these could be used to adapt the space for musical performances.

The second area, situated behind the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar and the Qatar Foundation of Islamic Studies building, features themed gardens (including a water garden with a large water fountain), a children’s play area and a heritage area.

Al Sulaiti said when it is completed, the heritage area, which is built around a preserved historical site consisting of local buildings from the early decades of the 20th century, will be used to welcome visitors to Qatar Foundation and teach them about Qatari culture.

Members of the Education City community are looking forward to Oxygen Park’s completion. Mohammad Abu Hawash, a freshman at GU-SFSQ, had a chance to explore the park during National Sports Day and said he greatly appreciates its potential versatility. “The great thing about this place is that, in future, it could be a community center,” said Abu Hawash, “That was kind of missing in Education City, as most universities don’t have that.”

Victoria Ng’eno, a library assistant at Northwestern University in Qatar, complimented the park’s design, which also included waterfalls along the running tracks in the sports area. “Perhaps we can encourage teams to play, get together. Perhaps we can even host a barbecue,” she said.

Ng’eno also looks forward not only to the park’s construction, but that of the entire Education City campus. “Every time they open something new it’s amazing,” she said. “I’m kind of jealous of the people who go to school here!”




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