Meraas is known for its eccentric take on shopping destinations. They have a long list of constructions which are unique in their themes; the beach-themed La Mer, Al Seef which takes you back to the heritage of Dubai, the adventure themed Hatta, Bluewaters Island, and many more. The list is long. It is evident, even from the first look, that they have taken a keen interest in adding a distinctive signature to all of them.
One of their recent gifts to the paripetic is The Yard. It is an extension of the Last Exit in Al Khawaneej with a starkly different theme.
The Khawaneej is where the farmlands, lakes, and stables are clustered in Dubai. The Yard by Meraas represents this greener side of Dubai in great detail. At the same time, they have made it a place for fun and enjoyment.
Attractions in The Yard
As the name implies, The Yard looks like typical ranches in America and Europe with elements like the Love Lock bridge inspired by Pont des Arts in Paris. It recreates a rustic neighborhood replete with vintage farm machines lying hither and thither all over the place. Some of these are mere models for pictures. There are some others which are for the kids to play.
The yard has beautiful stretches of green grass, palm trees and walking trail shaded with palm branches. There are water mills, wells, and evan an 18-meter tall windmill to complete the ambiance.
The Yard was opened to the public in January of 2018. Its location is a little off of the main city. The place hasn’t started pulling the crowd yet. The Yard will also be expanding in different phases. When it is complete, it will have a total area of 2.8 million square feet, which is more than half the floor area of Dubai Mall.
The Yard is a playful destination which is perfect for families. The theme and decor make it a whole lot more enjoyable for children.
The Yard is the perfect Instagram spot
The Yard is a chic destination that adapts elements from the old lifestyle. There are numerous Instagram worthy spots, like those in La Mer and Kite beach. There are models of vintage technologies all over the park. The fun thing about The Yard is that you have a lot of things for you to do even if you are not shopping or eating. The lake with two bridges across them is a nice location for sunset pictures. The whole place looks stunning in the golden hour, making this a perfect venue for photoshoots.
Some of the animal models are so realistic, like the model of sheep drinking water. The statue of a cow reading newspaper named the Yard Times is comical. Some of them are creepy too. There is one model which shows scarecrows repairing a farm truck and another scarecrow that appears to be conversing. You can sit on the milkman’s bicycle and lie amongst the harvested vegetables. Garden landscaping is also interesting to see.
There are attractions that make it attractive for romantic couples as well. To make everything even better, the entree to The Yard is absolutely free. The yard sometimes doubles as a place to host community events and outdoor programs.
Another attractive thing about The Yard is ample parking space. You can go here on a weekend evening and find a parking space in no time. So, on festive days, you will be better off visiting here rather than, say Dubai Mall, if you are driving yourself. You don’t have to pay for the parking regardless of how long you park.
How to get to The Yard
Because it is away from the main city, the best way to get here is by car. There is also plenty of free parking to make driving here even more convenient.
There is no metro route anywhere nearby. The closest metro station to Al Khawaneej is Rashidiya, which is 10 kilometers away. If you think you can take a bus, tough luck! You will have to walk at least 3 kilometers after getting down at the nearest bus stop. And the only buses that take this route are 11A.
The Yard timings
Best thing about The Yard is that you can enjoy the parks and the scenery anytime. The Yard welcomes visitors 24/7. But the retail outlets and restaurants are not open 24 hours. The retail shops here are open every day from 11 AM to 12 midnight and the eateries stay open a little late until 2 AM and open one hour earlier than the retail shops.
It won’t be as harsh in the summer as the cities in Dubai. The location of The Yard saves it from humidity to an extent.
The Yard is a great place to visit if you want to see a completely different side of Dubai and have fun at the same time.
The Yard location
The yard is located in Al Khawaneej near the Mirdiff City Center. This place, located towards the northern side of Dubai, used to be a favorite location for luxury apartments. Recently, there has been new shopping and entertainment centers propping up. Mirdif 35 is one such shopping center in this neighborhood. The vibes and ambiance of this area are vastly different from the hustle and bustle which Dubai is famous for. Al Khawaneej is surrounded by farmlands, horse stables, and cattle farms.
Restaurants in The Yard
The main attractions in The Yard are the restaurants. There are so many of them for you to choose from. The yard is a gastronomer destination with all the variety of restaurants and food trucks.
There are indoor air-conditioned restaurants which are good if it is summer, outdoor ones are great for enjoying the view while having food. Food trucks are also something you should try. You can buy the take-outs from the food truck and find a convenient spot in The Yard.
Last Exit D89
There are, in total, four Last Exits in Dubai. Last Exit D89 is a part of The Yard with a slew of food trucks with drive-thrus. The Last Exit here is different from all others with its farm theme.
There are even old-style bakeries that take you back to the olden days. The Homestead bakery offers handcrafted materials and artisan bread. It has a perfect interior to match the ambiance of the whole place.
A place for some of the finest burgers. In The Yard, they offer drive-thru a food truck.
The Inventing Room
This dessert place is known for its eclectic theme of a chemistry lab. Desserts here are served in laboratory-style tumblers spewing fumes of liquid nitrogen.
Attractions near The Yard
Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Petting Zoo
This petting zoo is also an animal rescue shelter. This zoo is exclusively for domestic animals and birds. All of these animals are either donated to the zoo or are rescued. Visitors of all ages can come here to learn about the animals and pet them. And if you are interested, you can adopt them.
Mushrif National Park
Unlike other parks, this is a center for adventure sports and a wildlife reserve. Mushrif Park spans over an area of 5-kilometer square, making it the largest park in Dubai. There is an international village inside the park with both Arabic and English style houses.
This mall is less than two years old. Mirdif 35 is one of the recent developments in the outskirts of Dubai. These developments also demonstrate the development trend in Dubai is going to be in the coming decades. It is a shopping and lifestyle center located on Khawaneej road.