King Abdullah International Gardens: a giant oasis in the desert


KAIG: set for completion in 2011 (Barton Willmore)

Barton Willmore has designed this spectacular botanical garden, set in 160 hectares of arid desert landscape in the Saudi central region, to the south west of Riyadh.
The ambitious team, led by Nick Sweet and advised by experts from the Eden Project and the Natural History Museum, sees the project as a chance “to educate, to entice, to excite and to entertain, and whilst doing so, to pass on a message about who we are, where we have come from, where we may be going, and the choices that may still be available to us.”

The Butterfly Garden (image: Barton Willmore)

  • KAIG will record 400 million years of botanical history by creating a paleobotanic timeline, with authentic interpretations of ecosystems that existed on this site in past epochs.
  • The crescent-shaped main building will enclose seven controlled environments.
  • Visitors – up to 45,000 per day – will be taken on a journey through landscapes from the Devonian, Carboniferous, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Cenzoic and Pilocene eras.
  • There will also be scientific gardens, a Water Garden and a Wadi Garden (wadi is Arabic for dry riverbed or valley).
  • Finally, the Garden of Choices explores the consequences of the decisions we make regarding the environment.
  • The Paleobotanic Building (image: Barton Willmore)

  • The carbon-neutral scheme will harvest stone, rainwater and solar power to sustain its development and operation.
  • A comprehensive seed-bank, protected from germination by the dry desert climate, will aid future research and project developments.
  • The project website contains a wealth of images and information: masterplan, strategic contexts, a database of botanical garden precedents, fly-by animation, perspective sketches, and extensive details of each individual garden.
  • Followers of the project’s blog are looking forward to keeping track of the 3-year building process via site webcams and Google Earth.

    An external view (image: Barton Willmore)

    ESI references:

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    3 Responses to “King Abdullah International Gardens: a giant oasis in the desert”

    1. Dr. MIH Farooqi Says:

      New Editions of
      PLANTS OF QURAN (Rs 300/= 7th Ed.,Ed, 2008),
      & MEDICINAL PLANTS IN PROPHETIC TRADITIONS(Rs 350/+3rd Ed, 2010) With Colour Photographs

      Dear Sir,
      I am happy to inform you that 3rd Edition – 2010 (Price; Rs, 350/=, $10) of Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Prophetic Medicine) has been published. Earlier 7th Edition – 2008 (Price Rs.300/=, $10) of Plants of Quran has already been published. Both the Editions (authored by me) have been revised and contain colour Photographs of Quranic and Prophetic Plants. This has been done according to the wishes of several Scientists and Scholars around the World. You must be aware that the Plants of Quran and Sunnah have assumed added importance in view of the UNESCO Project of QURANIC BOTANICAL GARDENS in several areas of Islamic world in general and Arab World in particular. Actions for the establishment of such Gardens in Sharjah and Qatar have already been taken. Recently authorities of Royal Botanic Garden at Kew (UK) have also opened Quranic Garden Section in it’s prestigious premises.
      Recently King of Morocco, H.M. Mohammed IV has very kindly observed,
      “ I deeply appreciate and want you to know how impressed I am by your work on Plants of Quran and Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Mohammad. Your keen interest both in the Quranic I’jaazz – the ultimate, unparalleled knowledge conveyed through the Holy Book – and in the lessons drawn from the Traditions of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has enabled you to make invaluable contributions to Islamic writings” (3 June, 2010).
      Late Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, Founder-Member of Rabita Al Alam al Islami, also observed that the “identification of certain plants (In Plants of Quran), particularly with respect of Sidrah and Kafur, unravel several knots and removes many confusions.’ Another Islamic Scholar of repute Dr. M.A. Yamani, Chairman, Iqra International, also declares, “ the book has filled a gap (Quranic Studies) that has been yawning for centuries”

      Your sincerely,
      Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, M.Sc., Ph.D
      (Mohammed Iqtedar Husain Farooqi),, Retired Scientist, & Incharge, Plant Chemistry Division, National Botanical Research Institute, Address: C-3/2 Shahid Apartments, Golaganj, Lucknow 226018, India Mobile: +91-9839901066 Email:;
      Note:Plants of Quran First Edition Published in 1989.Medicinal Plants in 1996
      Note: Latest Editions are available with prominent Booksellers of New Delhi, UK, USA, Canada, Sharjah, Indonesia, Australia etc.

      PL note my recent publications as under:

      Muslim Societies
      Rise and Fall
      (Wake Up Call & Revival Efforts)
      ISBN-978-81-901352-9-0 First Edition : 2010 Price : Rs. 200/-
      Author: Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, M.Sc., Ph.D
      (Mohammed Iqtedar Husain Farooqi),
      Message : Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadvi
      President, All India Muslim Personal Law Board
      Preface: Saiyid Hamid
      Chancellor, Hamdard University, New Delhi
      Foreword : Maulana Dr. Kalbe Sadiq
      Vice President, All India Muslim Personal Law Board
      Introduction : Prof. Salahuddin Umari
      Former Chairman, Arabic Department, Aligarh Muslim University

      Appraisal of Muslim Societies in the Book by: King Abdulla (S. Arabia), Allama Iqbal (India), Rashid Rida (Syria), King Hussein (Jordan), Ben Badis (Algeria) Radwan Masmoudi (U.S.), Hasan Al-Turabi, (Sudan), Zia Gokalp (Turkey) Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri (Morocco), Abul Kalam Azad (India), Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi (India), Sayyid Ali Khamenei (Iran), Bernard Shaw (UK), George Sarton (UK) Hamid Golpira (Turkey) Hosni Mubarak (Egypt), Jamal Al-Din Afghani (Afghanistan) Robert Briffault (France), Mahathir Mohammad ( Malaysia), Mahatma Gandhi (India) Sheikh Mohammad Abduh (Egypt) Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (India)- Ziauddin Sardar (UK)

      Review by Sayyid Hamid, Chancellor, Hamdard University, New Delhi. ‘Muslim Societies – Rise & Fall’, consisting of 28 chapters and spread over 208 pages, has not only delineated the Rise and Fall of Muslims ever since Islam’s emergence but it has collected, tabulated and analyzed a wealth of relevant information. One realizes all the time that the book is from a scientist’s pen. Although dealing with religion, history, society, it steers clear of sentiment and rhetoric..
      The change of attitude which the Ummah needs desperately, as pointed out in the Book, does require the unambiguous and almost undivided attention of the Ulema who wield immense influence among the masses.

      Dictionary of Plant Gums, Resins, Dyes & Related Products
      (Chemistry, Botany & Utilization)
      (ISBN-978-81-901352-2-1; Year-2008; Pages-352 (art paper).
      Colour Images. 1400 Plant Species.-Price- $40/ (Abroad). Rs 800/= (India)
      Author: Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, M.Sc., Ph.D
      (Mohammed Iqtedar Husain Farooqi),
      An omnibus of succinct information on various aspect of gums, resins and dyes of vegetable origin—Useful for researches and Industries— Foreword by Dr. S.K. Jain, Former Director,Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata
      Publication Details at a Glance

      1. Plants of the Quran 7th ed. 2010 Rs 300/=
      2. Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of
      Prophet (Prophetic Medicine) 4th ed.2008 Rs 350/
      3. Dictionary of Indian Gums and Resins
      1st Edition 2008 Price : Rs. 800/-
      4. Nabatat-e-Quran (Urdu)
      4th Edition 2010 Price : Rs. 150/-
      5. Qurani Paudhe (Hindi)
      1st Edition 2007 Price : Rs. 150/-
      6. Nabatat-e-Tibbe-Nabvi (Urdu)
      Price : Rs. 100/-
      7. Muslim Societies-Rise and Fall
      1st Edition 2010 Price : Rs. 300/-
      8. Dunyai-e-Islam-Uroj-O-Zawal (Urdu)
      1st Edition 2010 Price : Rs. 150/-
      9. Bulletins : 1. .Al Nabatat Fil Quran wal Ahadith (Arabic) 2. Quranic Plants at Glance 3. Medicine of the Prophet 4. Manna and Cedar (Quran and Bible) 5. Status of Muslim Societies 6. Mann-O-Salwa aur Sidrah (Urdu) 7. Samrat-e-Fil-Quran

      C – 3 / 2, Shahid Apartments, Chakarvarti Road,
      Golaganj, Lucknow – 226 018, India Tel.: 0522-2610683, +919839901066

      Note: Above Books are available with several Bookstores of New Delhi, UAE, US, UK, Malaysia, Australia, Canada etc.

      Qur’anic Botanical Gardens
      (Approved by UNESCO)
      A proposal to set up Botanical Gardens based on the scientific and aesthetic concepts contained in the Holy Quran has been approved by the Unesco Headquarters. The expert team that authored the proposal consists of Guido Licciardi, Dr. Shaukhat Ali Chaudhary and Dr. Benno Boer (UNESCO Adviser), Dr. Rashid Idriss, Dr. Mohammed Iqtedar Husain Farooqi and Grant Donald. Dr. Farooqi is the author of The Plants of the Quran, and the Medicinal Plants in the Tradition of Prophet Muhammad.
      The garden features will be based on the verses (more than 150) that mention the Gardens of Paradise (Jannat al-Firdaws) in the Holy Quran. The proposed project would help achieve important objectives in the fields of environmental conservation, scientific research, education and recreation, the Unesco said. (Gulf News,The Peninsula, BG Conservation International, U.N. Environment Programme, UNESCO Press Release, A World of Science J, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Pioneer)

    2. Dr. MIH Farooqi Says:


      Indian scientist gets RO10,000 Royal Grant
      Muhammed Zafar
      19/04/2011 9:32 am

      An Indian scientist has been awarded a Royal Grant of RO10,000 (25,000 US $) for his work
      on plants. Dr. M Iqtedar Husain Farooqi, retired deputy director, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, India, got the recognition for his two books – Plants of the Quran and Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet Mohammed.
      It was partly due to his research on Quranic and Prophetic plants that UNESCO approved the multi-million dollar projects of the Quranic Botanical Gardens in Sharjah and Qatar, on which work has already started. The Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, UK recently held an exhibition on Quranic plants.
      Speaking to Muscat Daily from Lucknow, Farooqi said that he had sent the
      books to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said through the Omani Embassy in
      New Delhi a few months ago. “In response to my gesture, I got a message from H E Humaid al Maani, Oman’s Ambassador to India,acknowledging the receipt of the books by His Majesty, and informing me that His Majesty had granted RO10,000 for my endeavours. I was later asked about my bank details, and the sanctioned amount was transferred on March 10, 2011.”
      Thanking His Majesty, Farooqi said, “It is definitely a great feeling to get the award money from His Majesty the Sultan. As a matter of fact, I was aware of His Majesty’s scholarship, and that is why I took the liberty of sending him my works for his valued comments. This shows his benevolence as well as his concern for those who are working for the cause of Islam and Islamic teachings.”
      Farooqi is a plant chemist with more than 125 research papers in Indian and foreign journals to his credit. He has shown a keen interest in Islamic teachings. He owes it to his late father, an alumnus of Al Azhar University, Cairo, who was a devout Islamic scholar.
      “In the late 80s, I had written a few articles in Urdu on camphor, manna and cedar, with a particular reference to their description in the Q’uran and sunnah (traditions of the Prophet Mohammed). When these articles were published, many scholars appreciated my efforts and encouraged me to compile these pieces into a book.”
      On the question of Oman developing a Quranic garden, Farooqi said he felt that one can come up along with the existing Oman Botanical Garden. “My services are always available for the purpose. As a matter of fact, I would love to visit Oman for delivering lectures on Quranic and Prophetic studies, particularly with respect to plants

    3. gardening Says:


      […]King Abdullah International Gardens: a giant oasis in the desert « Building[…]…

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