It is a miracle…
Author: Harm Custers – Manager Marketing & Sales Flowers at Takii Europe
In my previous blog I wrote about the true power of flowers, plants and green spaces. They play a very important role in human lives and cities are investing in flowers and green spaces to make cities more attractive places to live. A clear example of this can be found in Dubai, a fast-developing city in the UAE. A smart Jordanian businessman called Abdel Naser Y. Rahhal recognized this trend and opened the Miracle Garden Dubai in 2013. After visiting the IPM Dubai exhibition recently, I had the opportunity to visit this garden. I found the experience an unexpected delight!
It’s not a garden in the European sense of the word. It is more of a theme park or amusement park where flowers play the starring role! A breathtaking place full of beauty, fragrance and colour. Flowers, flowers and more flowers in the desert – occupying over 72,000 square meters. Just Google ‘Miracle Garden Dubai’ and view the gallery to see for yourself. Amazing floral trees, floral houses and huge floral decorations have made this garden one of the most visited and highly rated attractions in Dubai. So far in 2017 it has received about 1.8 million visitors of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities – and the number is still growing. Like everything else in Dubai, this garden is one of superlatives. The world’s largest natural flower garden featuring over 6 million flowering plants, grown as annuals. Over 100 million flowers (I did not count them ?). A number of Guinness World Records, such as ‘the largest flower arrangement’ (in the shape of a life size Airbus A380!). A photographer’s paradise (featuring Takii’s Petunia Opera Supreme).
Yes, you might say that it’s ‘over the top’ and it’s not natural to have such a garden in the middle of the desert. But people love it, they enjoy being there and have a fantastic day out. They love being surrounded by plants and flowers! The true power of flowers and green spaces.
“People get tired of malls, closed places”, said Mr. Naser “I hope people will understand that Dubai is not just about extremes in concrete and steel. This country has been given beautiful weather for seven months… with a little care, you can grow really beautiful products.”
The flowers are watered with waste water using a drip irrigation system and water retention materials such as capillary mats and polymers ensure that the available moisture is used as efficiently as possible. The park closes for four months of the year, during the hottest period of summer (average 40°C).
If this can be done in Dubai, why not in other parts of the world? We see similar projects emerging in China, where commercial flower parks are also popping up around the cities. It is fantastic publicity for our sector and our products. It will make people value the importance of plants and flowers. It will inspire them to use them at home or to express emotions. It will make cities more beautiful, attractive and healthy. It will make people happy. I see many more opportunities for similar projects in other parts of the world.
Back to Holland, the land of flowers. We have a great international showcase: Keukenhof, with a special emphasis on flowering bulbs. For eight weeks in early spring, Keukenhof shows what the Dutch floricultural sector has to offer, attracting 1.4 million visitors. But why not extend this further? Add more products (like bedding plants), make it a year-round show (including a huge Christmas world). If you think big, you get big! So far, various attempts did not succeed.
And now there is a fantastic new initiative: Floriworld Amsterdam is to be built on the grounds of the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Construction will start in 2018 and the opening is planned for 2020. Floriworld will be a tourist experience and center of expertise for floriculture where visitors can enjoy the world of plants and flowers all year round. It will be all about colors, fragrances and emotions and shed light on the world behind our beautiful products.
As Takii Europe we will support Floriworld – which is a stone’s throw away from our European head office. We look forward to telling the story of our flowers to our consumers. We are proud to show our latest innovations to them and get their feedback too. It is a win-win situation.
No doubt other similar projects will emerge in other parts of the world: Wonderful, we embrace them! We cannot overstate our message to consumers about the importance of plants and flowers. Every single attempt is worthwhile. Flowers are truly a miracle.
“Happiness held is the seed, happiness shared is the flower”.
On behalf of Takii Europe I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2018!