It’s a beautiful month of November and close to year end! Summer is faded and autumn has come dancing. All the open-air bustle that was stranded, is back to life again. Kids enjoy their outdoor games, family and friends plan getaways, couple enjoy their walk in the park etc. However, the beauty of this season lies with the start of Global Village from November beginning to March end. Its considered to be one of the major events in Dubai, where World Becomes Flat! This is one place I don’t mind visiting very often and every visit has never failed to impress me.
What is Global Village?
Global Village is a communal platform in Dubai for entertainment and cultural attraction with shopping experiences and fun rides for both adult and kids. The various countries representing will have separate pavilions where they set up their stalls. It’s interesting to witness their culture, tradition and experience different cuisines. Kindly refer to http://www.globalvillage.ae
Glimpse of Global Village
The walkway to the venue is beautiful and colourful especially if you visit after the sunset. The dome lights are lit on either sides with a beautiful garden in the centre. Seating arrangement has been made for those tired, mind you, it’s a long walk from the parking lot if you haven’t found one close to the vicinity. The structure of the main entrance is gorgeous keeping in mind the heritage of UAE.
Towards the right near the entrance is where the visitors can buy the tickets. If it’s a long queue, especially on a weekend, sip on to Karak chai which is located right next to the ticket counter as you wait for your turn in the long queue. Tickets can be bought online too from their website.
I visited Global Village last Wednesday with Hemanth – my spouse. I chose a weekday, as weekends are crazily crowded and as experienced earlier, I was quite sure I wouldn’t be able to explore peacefully unlike my visit a month ago. The first glimpse as you enter Global Village is the Big bus company attached with Big Ben. Right next to it is the Eiffel tower and Leaning tower of Pisa. On the right is the larger than life Burj Khalifa. Overall, it’s a touch of Europe- Asia.
Few meters further, let’s call it as a round about- Well, Dubai driving signs has brushed off well on me! Visitors are welcomed to a beautiful garden which displays the huge sign board of Global Village. This is the start and here begin the pavilions of each country on both the sides.
The pavilion on the right was of Turkey and what caught my attention first is the creatively made entrance with an arch and a stunning ship at the top in white and blue combination with the name TURKEY etched on it in RED. I couldn’t wait myself to get there! I am crazily in love with their home décor items and jewellery. This pavilion is always crowded, and one can experience of being in a market of Istanbul. The exotic glazed lamps, the wall plates, tiles and pottery to bedding sets can brighten up the homes with these beautiful Turkish goods. One of the most popular item of Turkey is the Turkish eye, its believed to be protected from evil eye.
There were these crazy bunch in the stall selling Turkish cuisine. They knew quite well, how to entertain and bring in customers. Full of life with so much of fun and laughter, they sang songs in their own style! The man in the black T- shirt took the lead, while the rest sang in chorus.
As I explored more in this pavilion, I came across this jewellery shop SIM at stall # 11. They have some wonderful collection, Turkish designs. I step in to the store and happened meet Mr. Cem Garip Kutluca, fine gentlemen – Executive Manager of SIM. According to CEM, they have been participating in this fair for the past ten years and for him this is his first time at Global Village. They plan their merchandising based on the business of the previous year. As per CEM, global village is a beautiful experience and compared to last year there has been a slight decrease with the customers. However, they take a call in reducing the prices depending on the customer behaviour. The challenge he and his company faces is the storage as its not close to the vicinity. SIM has stores in Turkey – Kapalicars (Grand Bazaar) Faith/ Istanbul. One can find them in Instagram: Simbay Jewellery. I leave the place thanking CEM for the valuable time and with a promise of visiting his store when am in Turkey.
If you don’t wish to spend huge amount on the concerts, here is a perk! Global Village also has an amphitheatre and hosts live concerts every Friday at 9PM all inclusive with your entry ticket price of AED 15. International stars from Asia, Middle East and world wide puts up a cultural stage to give the audience an unforgettable experience. I did happen to visit during the Shreya Ghoshal (Bollywood singer) show. With huge crowd and little darling nephew in stroller, we couldn’t manage to get there!
I could hear some drum beat and people cheering in the nearby pavilion. As I got closer there, I saw the tribal dance of Africa. Then came the “Waka Waka” and the “Hakuna Matata” moment. Many of you especially the Middle East and the African readers might know what am talking about . For the rest, you will know the meaning as you read further. Their main lead announces the next show is after 20 min , so I quickly get into the African pavilion.
In the first store, I see the Hakuna Matata board and I ask the lady there for the meaning. Pat came the reply, “Are you an Emirati?” No, I am an Indian! Then she goes on to say Hakuna means “No” and Matata means “worries”. I explore other shops and reach this store where the artefacts caught my attention. I did pick up two for the home décor. I met this beautiful team who has been participating in this fair for the past 20 years! So every six months, they shuttle between Tanzania and Dubai. Well, they did invite me to their country and I did to mine.
Next is the “Mera Bharath Mahan” moment as I make my way towards the pavilion India! It was indeed a joyous moment when I saw the display of the famous Ambassador car, Tuk Tuk and the Bajaj Chetak. Indian’s can vouch for it. Like me,I am sure each one has some memory attached to it. Here I come across Mr. Santosh Kumar, pottery maker from Rajasthan. He comes from a family of pottery makers and says learning this art is very tough and time consuming. But once you get the grip of it, its quite easy. Santosh is sponsored by a business man in Dubai and its been five years he has been coming to Global Village and during his visit he lives in investment park.
The pavilion of Egypt shows their presence with a beautifully structured pyramid- associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.
While there are other countries too who has made their presence felt – Russia, Jordan, America, Pakistan, Israel, Yemen etc. Technically, one visit would not be sufficient to cover the Global Village. It can get exhausting and so did I. Well, the last pavilion in this blog I am going to feature is the country which is a second home for majority of the expats. It’s time to showcase UAE. They have made their presence felt in a unique way by displaying a Victory project. Victory Project is a community engagement initiative by Global Village aiming to enhance the creativity of students and celebrate the UAE’s 46th National Day.
As per Global Village site, More than 15,000+ students from 100+ Public & Private Schools participated in the project who have carefully designed and painted designs on 3,000 sculptures that have been specially moulded in the shape of the UAE’s iconic victory salute sign indicating WIN Victory, and Love for the nation. The top three will be chosen as final winners!
Plan your Visit :
From Saturday to Wednesday from 4:00pm – 12:00am (entry gates closed at 11:30pm)
Thursday, Friday and Public Holidays from 4:00pm – 1:00am (entry gates closed at 12:30am)
Mondays are dedicated to Families and Ladies only.
Entry Tickets: AED 15 per person per day
The following categories are eligible for free entry to Global Village:
– Children under 3: free entry
– People of Determination with one companion each: free entry
– Seniors above 65: free entry
Tickets can be purchased via the following options:
The RTA has set up 2 new bus routes to allow the public affordable and easy-to-use methods of getting to Global Village to join in on the fun.The service runs from 3:15pm until 11:15pm, with 30 minutes of travel time.For more information on RTA buses routes and timings, please contact RTA on 8009090.
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