Friday, December 18, 2009

As people drive along Zabeel Park, a rather strange sight greets them- that of five gigantic domes seemingly rising from nowhere. The first thought that crosses one's mind is that these look remarkably like planetary bodies. This is exactly what Osus Facilities Management LLC wanted them to look like. The five domes together comprise Osus’unique theme park – STARGATE. Established in partnership with the Dubai Municipality, Stargate is an edutainment park aimed primarily at kids (but has plenty of activities to keep the parents occupied as well) where education is combined with entertainment to offer the best of both the worlds.

STARGATE main entrance

Built in a rather unconventional way, its unique architecture and interiors are indeed quite symbolic in nature. For starters, the entire park is built underground that instantly creates an aura of awe and fascination. The five domes, suitably named as the Earth, Lunar, UFO, Mars and Saturn domes each have their own unique attractions.

The Saturn Dome

The Lunar Dome has a specially built ice rink and a skating club that children can enroll in while the Earth dome holds a 'spinning earth family roller coaster'. The Mars dome houses one of the world's largest indoor soft play areas, the UFO dome has an electric Go-Karting course and the Saturn dome contains various 3D related activities and laser shows. A 450m long 'Fun Track' circles the entire theme park, offering interactive video games, prize redemption games, party rooms and more.

There exists a remarkable tale behind the concept of Stargate, a tale that we heard when we went to interview Ramy Nusiebeh, Stargate's Chief Marketing Officer.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: What is the concept of this fascinating edutainment park?

RN: Over four years ago, the owners of this park had a vision to offer something special to the children of this region. A lot of aspects are lacking in a child’s life here and entertainment was on top of the list.

Q: Why is the park located beneath the ground?

RN: The story of Stargate is that it is in the shape of a spaceship. That is what the logo depicts as well. This spaceship from outerspace crash landed into Dubai. Dubai has opened its arms and offered investments to us as well as facilities. It helped kick start the project and Dubai Municipality has been a good partner.

Q: What are the facilities that make Star Gate unique?

RN: The entire project is unique. It is the biggest edutainment park for children and consists of various offerings. We are also in the process of adding a lot more.

Entertainment for kids

Q: Do the names of the domes hold any significance?

RN: Well Earth is the most important planet. It is where existence has been thriving. Saturn and Mars are popular planets that children study about while the Moon and UFos certainly have their own appeal.

Major attraction at STARGATE

Q: Does Stargate face a lot of competition?

RN: We do have competition and we in fact welcome it. It is healthy and we look forward to it.

Q: Are there any special offers or discounted rates for student oriented field trips?

RN: We do offer discounts for students and packages for field trips are available on our website:

StarGate hosts a number of attractions for the tiny tots as well as the youth. Imparting education within an atmosphere that is charged with high voltage of entertainment, Stargate is certainly worth a visit and many are bound to follow thereafter.

By Disha Laungani & Zaheen Hussain