Al Noor’s insect beauties have Sharjah visitors aflutter

Sharjah's newest tourist attraction, on Al Noor Island, attracted families over the long weekend hoping to experience the cooler winter weather and see butterflies.
Visitors wander at the Butterfly House on Al Noor Island, a new, family-friendly tourist attraction in Sharjah. Satish Kumar / The National
Visitors wander at the Butterfly House on Al Noor Island, a new, family-friendly tourist attraction in Sharjah. Satish Kumar / The National

SHARJAH // The emirate’s newest tourist attraction pulled in the crowds over the long weekend, with families keen to enjoy the time off work, the cool winter weather – and the butterflies.

Nine-year-old Nadeen convinced her father to take her to the newly-opened Al Noor Island, located in Khalid Lagoon, to visit the butterfly garden.

“When we came the other night, the butterflies were sleeping, the staff told me that in order to see them I have to come during daylight,” said the Syrian schoolgirl.

Her father, Ahmed Yahia, said the public holiday was the perfect time to take his only child to see the island.

“She wanted to come again to the island to see the butterflies, once you enter the butterfly house the staff give you and your children a brief about the life cycle of the butterflies in a very educational and child-friendly way,” said the 37-year-old.

“I moved to Sharjah two years ago, my family can go out every night to have fun in the parks, Al Qasba or Al Majaz waterfront. It’s a great place to be with your children in the good winter weather,” said the Al Qasimiya resident.

The butterfly garden, with its plant covered walls, is home to around 600 exotic insects brought from the Far East, including the Danaus chrysippus, also known as the African monarch, the Doleschallia bisaltide, known as the Autumn Leaf, and the Pachliopta aristolochiae or rose butterfly, which can be found across South East Asia and is known for its bright colours.

The island is also home to the egg-shaped OVO art sculpture, elliptical art piece that combines light with music through a collection of soundtracks inspired by nature.

The sculpture was displayed in cities around the world before arriving in Sharjah.

Samantha Adam, 27, visited Al Noor with her friends on their day off from work.

“We decided to come to check out the butterflies and the new island, then we are going to continue our outing on the Al Majaz water front,” said the Filipina.

“Aside from the butterflies, the beautiful trees and lighting, the long trampoline on the other side of the island is beautiful and great fun to walk your way through. I must have walked it four times now,” said the 27-year-old from Al Buheira.

Recently opened by Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, the walkways, trees and bridges that criss cross the 45,470 square metre island are illuminated in a variety of colours in the evening.

Shadi Khalid made the short drive down the E11 from his home in Ajman with his three children to picnic in the park among the 2,200 trees and plants.

“We heard of this new island and thought would be a good time to let the children have fun,” said the 43-year-old, who added he preferred to visit the butterflies here instead of driving to Dubai’s butterfly garden.

Published: December 26, 2015 04:00 AM


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