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Olympian star helps launch the Middle East’s largest skate park at Sharjah megaproject Aljada

Olympian star helps launch the Middle East’s largest skate park at Sharjah megaproject Aljada

WC-News: 28 November 2022
  • Final phase of 90,000 square foot facility designed by Australia’s Keegan Palmer, skating’s first ever gold medallist
  • Hundreds turn out for full weekend of entertainment, which included competitions, giveaways, and a customised-shoe zone setup by Vans

Arada has opened the third and final phase of Aljada Skate Park, the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East. Located in the Madar family entertainment district of the Aljada megacommunity, the skate park was opened by Australia’s Keegan Palmer, the skateboarding Olympian gold medallist, who designed its third phase.  

Spread over a 90,000 square foot area, Aljada Skate Park contains a beginner section, an intermediate section and a pro-level street and park section, which will enable the facility to host global standard competitions.

The pro-level phase of Aljada Skate Park contains design elements inspired by famous skate parks from around the world, from Bondi Beach to Salt Lake City, where Keegan has competed, including a large vert wall  that can also be found at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, where he won the  gold medal in 2021. 

Keegan Palmer, Aljada Skate Park Ambassador, said: “This is not only the largest but also the most challenging and creative skate park anywhere in the region. Aljada Skate Park is now a focal point for the growing skate community here in the UAE, and I’m very excited about the future plans that we have for this amazing facility.”

Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada, said: “Our strategy has always been to deliver world-class facilities to inspire residents and visitors to our communities, and Aljada Skate Park is no exception. We’re delighted to support this rapidly growing sport here in the UAE and will shortly be sharing our plans to put Sharjah on the map as a global destination for professional skateboarding.”

Joining Keegan Palmer to launch the park on Saturday 26 November were HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Vice Chairman of Arada, Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada, Sabatino Aracu, President of World Skate, the global governing body for skateboarding and a number of other officials. 

Over the course of last weekend, skaters from across the UAE and beyond got to hear Keegan talk about his Olympic and Aljada journeys, as well as the chance to learn tips and tricks at special skate clinics. In addition, another of the world’s top skaters, Pedro Barros, who won silver at Tokyo 2020, also impressed the crowd with his skills.

On Saturday, skaters got the opportunity to show off their own skills and compete to win during the the eye-catching Skate & Chill event hosted by Californian shoe brand Vans. The competition gave away prizes for the best tricks performed over six sections of Aljada Skate Park, with visitors also treated to a festival atmosphere along with giveaways, a DJ, plenty of food and the opportunity to customise Vans shoes.

Special guests from the Gabriel Can Foundation, which aims to teach children diagnosed with autism to skate, were given a warm welcome with a special hour-long event specially designed for them.

Spread over a 24 million square foot area and with 25,000 homes, Aljada is Sharjah’s largest ever project and a transformational destination for the Emirate. Since opening in early 2020, the Madar at Aljada entertainment district has welcomed over three million visitors.

The first phase of Madar contains the Aljada Discovery Center, the Zad food truck district, a free-to-enter drive-in cinema, a children’s adventure playground, an indoor events space, an outdoor amphitheatre and the world-class Aljada Skate Park. Scheduled to open next year, the second phase of Madar will contain a Wellfit gym – Sharjah’s largest fitness space – and a BOUNCE trampoline park.