Sunday, January 12, 2014

Global Village

Today is a Public Holiday and the office is closed. Hubby and I have talked about buying a new sofa so off we went to IKEA (together with the rest of Dubai I think...). We quickly made our choice, paid, ate four hot dogs and left. The weather has been quite bad lately, cold and rainy so the pool was definitely not an option. As we drove back home, I realized that I hadn't been to Global Village since 2012!  Global Village is a gigantic outdoor theme park with different pavilions, representing various countries. The biggest pavillion by far is India and it is followed by Yemen, Qatar and Pakistan. Inside each pavillions you will find lots of small stands, selling goods specific to that country.
Some things have changed though, before you could enjoy delicious and cheap street food inside the pavilions but that seemed to have stopped. I only saw juice stands and snack vendors, but no food. On the other hand, there are plenty of little kiosks and restaurants outside where one can enjoy local sweets, Turkish baked potato, Persian food etc. I suspect due to the bad weather (heavy rain just as I entered), many of the small cafes were closed. Some pavilions are more "genuine" than the others. I was quite impressed with Afghanistan, that had several stands with antiques, necklaces with lapis lazuli, traditional Afghan dresses and rugs. The Singaporean and Filipino pavilions seem however to mostly consist of fake handbags, pyjamases with cartoon prints and cheap toys from China. The only Asian pavilion that lives up to its name is the Vietnamese, where you can find beautiful lacquer paintings, bowls, trays and jewelry boxes.
I think the concept of Global Village is great, unfortunately it does not always give a true experience of the countries in question and very few vendors seem to actually be from the country the represent. The food stalls were a lot less this year and prices are generally higher for all non- locals as they suspect you are a tourist. However, if you have never been to Global Village, I can definitely recommend it.  The entrance fee is only 15 dirhams and there is free parking just outside. They open from 4 - midnight from October to 1st of March. Since it is an outdoor event, it is closed during the hot summer months.

Entrance to India

Chinese lanterns

Should you need to clean your abaya....

The Syrian pavilion

Indian kurtas and shalwar kameez

I found this in the Spain pavilion, under the sign, European kitchenware

Moon shine to us has a completely different meaning...



  1. Vilken kul idé med en global village! Gillar!!
    Och grattis till ny soffa. Vi skulle också behöva en ny. Men har bestämt att här blir inget nytt soffköp förrän vi flyttar nästa gång. Så vi slipper flytta med vår nedsuttna (Nnedhoppade"... soffa)

  2. Jättekul idé! Något jag verkligen skulle vilja besöka om jag nån gång "har vägarna förbi".

  3. Later lite som de olika länderna som de har pa Epcot Center pa Disney World i Florida. Eller hade i alla fall, det var ju trots allt över 20 ar sen jag var där... men jag älskade det!

  4. I've never been there but it sounds like a fun place to visit. What a shame that China, Singapore and the Philippines want people to associate their countries with cheap toys and fake handbags:)