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Maneesh Bakshi
THE Qatari-owned Baladna farm on the outskirts of Doha has become a new destination for citizens and expatriates who wish to spend their summer weekends in a laid-back environment of a dairy farm, away from the bustling city life.
Spread over an area of 3,840 hectares, the farm is about 50 kilometres away from Doha city on Shamal Road en route to Al Khor. It features a nicely-manicured garden that includes a children's play area with slides and swings. Moreover, the farm has a fair-sized zoo that hosts many animals, hence, attracting visitors of all ages.
Entry to the farm is free and visitors can explore the daily processes at the farm such as milking and feeding of the animals. A visit to the Baladna Farm also turns out to be an educational excursion for everybody, especially the young ones.
The farm hosts Baladna restaurant that uses the high-quality local farm produce such as milk, cheese and meat. Its d`cor based on a rustic theme matches well with the general ambience of the farm. Spectacular decorative pieces arranged all across the restaurant elevate the ambience further.
Be it the milk canister cut in the shape of hanging lamp shades or the milk delivery bicycle, they remind visitors of the rich history associated with the dairy farming that has come a long way to the modern and highly mechanized farming processes.
General Manager of Baladna Mahmoud Abd al Hamid told Qatar Tribune that there has been a large turnout of visitors during weekends."Families with children are more frequent and many of them spend the entire day at the farm, enjoying their time relishing fresh and healthy food at the Baladna restaurant or shopping for high-quality products such as olive oil, honey at the farm's outlet."
Inside the restaurant, a gallery displays Baladna products that range from different kinds of milk and laban to yoghurts and Arabic ghee. It also hosts a range of other products such as jams, pickles, olive oil and meats to choose from.
The farm is a great place for weekend outings or as a stopover point while going on a long drive on the Shamal Road. It is also a place where children can interact with domestic animals and learn more about local culture and heritage.
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