The Oasis Garden is situated in the Al Ain Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s green garden city located about an hour and a half away from the capital. This lush space consists of three separate sub-gardens that represent the oasis ecosystem’s three different levels.
This tier, or layer, represents an oasis at the time of its creation, with crops from arid areas and small palm trees providing shade while they grow. Sacred plants and desert flora with therapeutic uses, such as henna, indigo and aloe, are cultivated in small agricultural plots. Grain is grown for food, as well as bristle grass, a type of grass that helps to stop dunes from advancing. These plants do not require a lot of water and form, together with vegetables, the first tier of oasis agriculture.
This second tier of oasis cultivation consists of trees growing figs, pomegranates, lemons, bananas and olives. From the Mediterranean to Africa and China, civilisations have developed through the cultivation of these trees, all of which are grown in the Al Ain Oasis.
On the third plantation tier, tall plant foliage combats the sun’s heat by creating shade, allowing all the other plants to grow in the desert. In hotter oases, the palm tree plays a major role in providing shade. In the Al Ain Oasis, the palm tree is the predominant plant and so, in this symbolic garden, it has been replaced with other plants.