Leni Popovici
Inter 10

The mountain of Jebel Hafeet is an untapped asset to the UAE, being home to 5000 year old tombs, housing the residence of Sheikh Zayed and holding at its base one of the most beautiful artificial oasis in the country. The Abu Dhabi Institute for Culture and Heritage has been fighting off a government-endorsed project to turn the mountain into a commercial and turistic artificial ski slope which could host the World Ski Cup and the Olympics. The artificial ski slope in Dubai, a massive concrete construction serves as a problematic precedent, where it is clear to see that the Dubai mentality of investing large sums of money to build collosal projects which can bring in commerce and revenue has spread to this untapped gem in the country. The yet unapproved project is the main catalyst for the Floating Gardens of Jebel Hafeet project.

The Floating Gardens of Jebel Hafeet is a concept which aims to provide the scale and grandeur that the government is seeking for in their proposal but at the same time to ensure that the natural beauty and topography of the mountain is harmed as little as possible. The Gradens would provide an asset to the mountain’s rich historical and cultural attributes instead of turning it into yet another turistic and commercial base in the country and would add to the mountain’s beauty and pride instead of detracting from it.