Around the world in one day Global Village opens in Dubai
FOR two decades, Dubai’s largest outdoor Global Village bazaar has showcased numerous world cultures, and with cooling temperatures, this year’s iteration is back once again – and has more attractions than ever, organizers say.
“On top of our enhancement list this year is the ‘Gate of the World’ which is our new entrance for Global Village and the biggest gate in the history of the outdoor marketplace,” Aiham Zidan, the bazaar’s marketing manager told Al Arabiya News.
“The new gate allows visitors to see all the landmarks of the world as soon as they step inside Global Village and enjoy what we called the world avenue,” he said adding that the new gate features 40 turnstile entrances and 40 ticketing counters.
Monuments present at the Gate of the World include replicas of America’s Statue of Liberty, France’s Eiffel Tower, the UAE’s Burj Khalifa as well as India’s Taj Mahal.
Russia and Japan
The Gate of the World is not the only novelty that marked the opening of the 20th season of the massive bazaar.
“We also witnessed the inauguration of two new pavilions which are Russia and Japan and the reopening of two old pavilions Indonesia and Palestine,” Zidan said.
Zidan added that the opening or closure of pavilions had “nothing to do with politics” while clarifying that most of the available countries were represented by “independent investors.”
This year will see a total of 75 countries represented through 32 pavilions, for a total duration of 159 days.
Some of the most popular pavilions include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and India, Zidan said while stressing that each pavilion has “its own unique spirit and its own charm.”
Zidan also spoke about other improvements ranging from infrastructure enhancements to new shows “specifically created for Global village.”
Speaking about the vision of Global Village, Zidan said: “Our vision is to be among the top 10 destinations in the world for family entertainment.”
“We have received more than 5 million visitors last year and we hope to welcome even more people this year,” he said adding that almost 20 percent of the visitors are tourists.
Global Village that opened on Nov. 3 will continue till April 9, 2016. Fans of Russian heritage and culture living in Dubai now have a dedicated pavilion in Global Village.
Traders at the dozen or-so booths in the Russian section selling traditional outfits, food and toys — including the well-known wooden “Matryoshka” doll sets — say that the pavilion helps steer perceptions of the world’s largest country away from “Putin and politics.”
Due to sweltering summer temperatures in the emirate, Global Village is only open in the cooler months of the year.
The Russian section, which opened earlier this month, is situated near the multicultural market’s American and Turkish areas.
Juliya, a saleswoman who hails from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, said that she hopes to set the market buzzing with her multiple types of Russian honey.
“We know that honey is very popular in the Arab region,” she said. In the Middle East, honey is a valued commodity renowned for its medicinal and nutritional benefits.
Juliya said she hoped to “understand the Arab market” before “starting to make profits.”
Meanwhile, another trader of Russian goods at the newly-created pavilion said that the response from customers had so far been very “positive.”