IMKAN’s Sheikha Fatima Park Connects the Community through the Power of Art

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  • Engaging arts initiative from UAE-based real estate developer creates Abu Dhabi’s first urban lifestyle park.
  • Park will be open before the end of the year with one of its main features showcasing art murals around the five themes of ‘Spirit,’ ‘Journey,’ ‘Innovation,’ ‘Together’ and ‘Memory’ commissioned from local artists and inspired by Abu Dhabi based students.

Abu Dhabi: As Abu Dhabi Art Fair showcases the Emirates’ artistic flair and creativity, IMKAN Properties is connecting community members through the power of art at Sheikha Fatima Park – a brand new vibrant and accessible public recreation and leisure destination in Abu Dhabi.

Set in the midst of the key community of Khalidiya Abu Dhabi, the former park that historically catered solely to women and children, has been repurposed into the Emirate’s first urban lifestyle park reimagined with one-of-a-kind offerings under an overarching theme of active wellness.

Designed to reflect the developer’s philosophy of ‘placemaking’ by adopting an innovative approach to revitalization, restoration and sustainability to the inner-city community, the space integrates park elements with new components and community-led activities to breathe new life into the neighborhood.

A main feature of Sheikha Fatima Park, is its art murals around the five themes of ‘Spirit,’ ‘Journey,’ ‘Innovation, ‘Together’ and ‘Memory.’ Local artists collaborated with students at schools and universities in the vicinity to develop their pieces under these themes, with each artist and group of students designing to a theme based on IMKAN’s art strategy for the park. The students involved in the collaboration process for the artworks include students of the American Community School, students of determination from Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Special Education, operated by the New England Center for Children and undergraduates from New York University Abu Dhabi, New York Institute of Technology Abu Dhabi and Zayed University.

Sheikha Fatima Park’s Public Art Strategy and IMKAN’s criteria of the artworks aim to enhance the park’s array of zones and sections through the adoption of both conventional and unconventional art. By reframing and reflecting notions of what a park should be and how it should relate to visitors, the art murals are instrumental in creating a new environmental and cultural landscape in the heart of Abu Dhabi. This direction aspires to recognize and enhance local identity and diverse cultures, support and increase engagement with local artistic and student communities and cultivate a creative aptitude amongst the members of the public.

Under the murals’ ‘Spirit’ theme, the students and artists took into consideration the vitality and character of the park as well as the distinctive spirit of the community and its people. On the theme ‘Journey’, they developed ideas of progression along a path that builds a new sense of community for a brighter future. For the ‘Innovation’ theme, a new perspective of the traditional and conventional was to be considered, challenging the way a park should be constructed and interpreted, while under ‘Togetherness’, they were encouraged to create work that brings different members of the community together. Finally, under the theme ‘Memory’, the students and artists contemplated the history behind the site, its importance to the community, and how the present and future are closely intertwined with the past.

“Sheikha Fatima Park is the latest development from IMKAN and has been conceived to create a vibrant community space that uses the power of art to connect residents and visitors. It builds on what was originally the Khalidiya Ladies Park to envision a new urban green space that has creativity at its core and is accessible to all. With its public art murals now complete, visitors to the park can explore, engage and interact with a verdant recreation and meeting place that fashions a new urban lifestyle space through its myriad of art displays,” said Luann Parker, Director of Investment & Strategy at IMKAN.

“Sheikha Fatima Park reflects the IMKAN ethos of ‘placemaking,’ which imbues all our developments and creates holistic living environments to stimulate the mind, body and soul. Its diverse landscape will be home to spaces that range from an urban edge providing retail and F&B offerings to events plazas, green activity areas and tranquil open lawns. Its family purposed areas will promote healthy lifestyle and leisure activities, with all the park’s individual elements designed blending together to provide a relaxing antidote to the hustle and bustle of city life,” she added. 

In addition to the art murals, Sheikha Fatima Park has curated 10,000m2 of food and retail spaces with a variety of concepts, both new and popular, that visitors can experience across the park. Ten such outlets will open at the Sheikha Fatima Park this year with the balance to follow in early 2022.

Sheikha Fatima Park is located at the corner of Al Bateen Street and Zayed the First Street in Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi. As the park is now open to public, the now complete art murals will add vibrancy to local identity and establish a cultural foundation for residents and visitors, thereby enhancing community cohesion.

About IMKAN:

Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer IMKAN has earned its reputation with a portfolio of 26 projects spanning three continents, the company’s ethos and vision being to create soulful places that enrich people’s lives.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Capital Group, IMKAN’s proposition is built around a unique research platform that identifies the needs and desires of its customer segment, from millennials to discerning high-net-worth individuals. Among the company’s key projects are two developments in Makers District – The Artery, a multi-use building that integrates a makers’ space with a parking garage, and Pixel, the company’s first mixed-use destination. Other key developments are Nudra, an exclusive beachside community, home to 37 luxury villas; Sheikha Fatima Park, the capital’s first urban park that seeks to enhance community interaction; and AlJurf at Sahel Al Emarat, which comprises timeless villas and land plots set in a preserved and natural ecosystem nestled between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. AlJurf’s most recent addition is SHA Emirates which, once open in 2023, will be the second international SHA clinic following the flagship award-winning SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain.

About Sheikha Fatima Park:

Sheikha Fatima Park, located at the corner of Al Bateen Street and Zayed the First Street in Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, is the first urban park that transforms the existing enclosed park to a destination for all ages by integrating with the community fabric, complementing the surrounding public realm, and creating spaces to celebrate the urban vision. The park with a myriad of activities, events and destinations set within an equally diverse range of landscapes will provide layers of year round persistent discovery that are family purposed and focused around healthy lifestyle and activities. The spaces range from an urban edge that provides retail and F&B with spill out areas, to events plazas, green activity spaces and tranquil open lawns. All elements were designed to respond on a human scale with sustainability at the core and will provide a relaxing antidote to the bustle of its adjacent city spaces.