Qatar’s evolving urban landscape offers more places to play
July 26 2019 10:56 PM
Qatar Foundation’s skate park
Qatar Foundation’s skate park is a good venue for skateboarding, rollerblading, parkour, BMX, and even longboarding. PICTURES courtesy of Olan Santos.

With many new infrastructure projects nearing completion, the transformation of Qatar’s urban landscape is helping redefine the way people are exploring new locations to engage in extreme outdoor activities, according to a Doha-based longboard group.
Last year Qatar Foundation (QF) announced the official launch of its new skate park, which, according to its website, “is a fun recreational facility for the whole family”.
Situated at the West Green Spine in Education City, members of the Doha Longboard Crew (DLC) lauded QF’s move because the facility offers people a “safe and ideal” location for skateboarding, rollerblading, parkour, BMX bikes, and even longboarding.
However, aside from a proper skate park, DLC founding member Olan Santos said the new locations in and around Doha are also ideal for other similar physical but fun-filled activities.
“Al Bidda Park is one of the best spots for these types of sports because of its spacious area, it is open 24 hours a day, and most importantly, it guarantees the safety of both the athlete and the people in the immediate surroundings,” he told Gulf Times Friday.
“Al Bidda’s landscaped thoroughfares are well-paved, and you can find some elevated obstacles for street-style extreme sports.

A member of the DLC explores the DECC Station of the Doha Metro Red Line South.

The Hotel Park has smooth thoroughfares ideal for BMX riders

Al Bidda Park is spacious and safe for both the athlete and members of the public

“The park has clean toilets and washrooms, and even some stores where you can buy refreshments.
“Also, people don’t have to worry about moving vehicles, unlike in other locations and street spots.”
“An athlete is always allowed to practice or play extreme sports at the park, any time of the day,” Santos continued.
He stressed that being safe is “the responsibility of the extreme sports rider”, regardless of the location.
“It is always paramount to be a responsible rider: skate at your own skillsets only, and if you’re going to try something new, make sure that you have enough space to do it, to avoid endangering others.
“Be mindful of your surroundings as you are playing in a public park, and also clean as you go and don’t destroy anything in the area where you are playing; treat the spot like it’s your second home,” Santos emphasised.
Aside from QF’s Skate Bowl and Al Bidda Park, he said that there are other locations that are ideal for extreme athletes looking for a good after work ride or skate session.
“The Hotel Park in front of the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel has smoother cement surface compared to other parks.
“Also, the DECC Station of the Doha Metro Red Line South is also a good spot because of its wide space, and it is close to City Center Mall, making it ideal for those who want to get food and refreshments afterwards.
“Aspire Park, particularly the area at the back of The Torch Doha, also offers a wide area to play on, and it is a stone’s throw away from the Villaggio Mall,” Santos said.

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