Global Village 2013-2014
This year, there are pavilions from 68 countries, the largest amount of countries to showcase so far
Remaining true to its leadership’s directives of being a regional hub for all cultures, Dubai has opened its doors for the signature event of the year, Global Village. This six month celebration of worldwide cultures is the first and most recurring affair of its kind in the Middle East. The concept brings countries, traditions and cultures together in one place to exhibit and celebrate their beauty and culture.
If the whole idea of Global Village is new to you, it is an annual fair lasting six months, showcasing over 65 different and exciting worldwide cultures through the mediums of food, handicrafts and entertainment. It is the most dynamic and unique form of tourism of its kind. This year, Global Village opened on October 5 and will end on March 1, 2014. In its 18th year, Dubai’s Global Village claims to be the one stop shop for dining, entertainment and shopping.
A wide range of cultures will be present at this epic fair. The GCC’s Bahrain, an ancient Chinese civilisation, South East Asia’s Philippines islands and the efficient European country of Germany will all be showcasing their appeal in Dubai.
Global Village captures Dubai’s true essence as it attracts tourists from all over the world in addition to locals and residents who represent over 200 nationalities that call Dubai home. All are enticed into the decorative walls of the bazaar like pavilions to learn about other cultures and grasp a glimpse of how others dine, live and celebrate in this theme park environment.
The 2012-2013 season saw over 6 million visitors over its lengthy sprawl and a massive 2500 shops showcasing worldwide cultures. This year, there are pavilions from 68 countries, the largest amount of countries to showcase so far. This year is set to be the best yet, as funfair specialists who organised the London 2012 Olympics and Prince William’s wedding are the brains behind the huge project. This year’s theme is ‘Fantasy Island’ where 36 rides and games will be spread over the ‘Coney Island’ fairground; something the Middle East has never seen before.
Each pavilion is dedicated to one country, with the exception of Malaysia and Singapore which are doubled up, while France, the UK and Germany are being grouped together in one. Each entrance to the pavilion is decorated with the epitome icons of that location. Egypt has its iconic pyramids on either side of the entrance while India’s entrance is an ornate fort adorned with Indian flags, and Italy’s entrance fashions the historic gladiator coliseum.
The 17th Global Village show of 2012-2013 hosted over 12,000 cultural shows of dance and performance during the six months. This year, four daily shows from each pavilion interpret their own customs and heritage of their country. Dancers don cultural dress in various colours while dancing to traditional music in the company of some of the world’s most famous folk groups and troupes.
Cultural shows and concerts themed around public holidays and special events will be held on the World Cultural Heritage Stage. There will also be celebrities such as Diana Haddad and Omar Abdellat. Find the list of daily show times on Global Village’s website and their social media pages.
To entertain the children there will be captivating shows with the children’s favourites Moshi Monsters. Fairy Tales on Ice from Disney favourites such as Aladdin, Snow White and Pinocchio will have two shows a day, six days a week throughout the whole event.
If you just love world cuisine and can’t travel everywhere, visit the pavilions and tantalise your taste buds with feasts and snacks from around the globe. The newly spruced up food court boasts more themed pavilions this year. Experience food from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and of course the UAE. With over 27 restaurants at the Global Village, there is surely something new for you to fall in love with and re-create at home, or even urge you to visit the country itself. Sit outside in the warm climate of Dubai and enjoy the global cuisine these restaurants and cafes have to offer while taking in views of the lake. There are also well known brands and chain restaurants there to dine in.
There is more on offer than just staged shows and great food at Global Village. An attraction in and of itself is shopping, a favourite past time in this host city. Situated near the main entrance and overlooking the lake are the retail shops, all 200 of them. To maintain the central idea of the Global Village concept, shops offer a range of products that represent their roots. Authentic wooden handicrafts, dried Asian fruits and rare items that are hard to find outside the Global Village will be on hand. For the cultural shoppers, there will be clothing and accessories for those fashion conscious types amidst a wide and exclusive range of goods that can't be acquired elsewhere.
Now in its 18th year the show is at its biggest so far. Thirty pavilions will be inside waiting to greet you, while 19 pavilions will be located outside. Within this are 170 kiosks, and if this isn’t enough, there are also 27 restaurants showcasing more cuisines from around the world. All of this will be celebrated with over six million visitors during the course of this season.
The event is located on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road at exit 37. If you are in Dubai and prefer commuting via public transportation to the venue, take the number 103 bus from Union Station for AED 10 per person. Entry to the Global Village is AED 15 per person.
Don’t hesitate to visit if you are a local or a visitor. It is sure to be a great day full of culture, education, arts and food.