DUBAI: If you’re wondering what’s new at the Global Village this year, then two pavilions should top your list of must-sees.
The South Asia pavilion, located close to India and representing three countries: Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, is a great place to sample the very famous Ceylon tea, enjoy some steamed Nepali momos (dumplings) or discover Bangladeshi art. On the opposite side, the Bosnia & Balkans pavilion offer a sneak peek into what Sarajevo and the neighbouring cities are like.
Bosnia & Balkans pavilion
The rustic interiors are straight out of a postcard, where a close-up picture against the stone walls will lead your Instagram followers to believe you’re in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the southeastern European country, sometimes referred to simply as Bosnia. The soft music playing in the background only adds to the Balkan ambience. The stalls, 29 in all, sell an array of items ranging from organic honey, biscuits, handmade pearls, zvrk (filo pastry) and kebabs to truffles, waffles and fresh cream, perfumed oil bath bombs and more.
As I explored the pavilion, a honey stall caught my attention. It sold white honey infused with the food of ‘Queen B’ at Dh800 a kilo. “We’ve been in the honey business for over three generations now,” said stall owner Admir Duranovic from Bosnia. “It’s one of the rarest honeys and I’ve been awarded several times for it,” said Duranovic, who claimed to have a legacy of over 100 years in honey production.
If you are a foodie, the zvrk that comes with four filling options – cheese, spinach, meat or chicken – is must-try. I tried the one with cheese filling and couldn’t help draw the similarities with the Borek (Turkish filo pastry) I had in Istanbul a couple of years ago.
Minela, an eight-year-old girl and daughter of one of the vendors, said, “The Turks learnt it from us.” I was left marvelling at the little girl’s knowledge of her country’s culinary impact on the neighbouring countries.
Location: Next to the USA Pavilion, near the main stage.
South Asia pavilion
The pavilion represents three countries: Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which seemed to have merged into one here at the Global Village.
The first thing you’ll notice is a huge stall selling jasmine, Ceylon, green, camomile and nearly 50 other types of flavoured tea. The aroma is so strong that it is sure to leave a lingering whiff on your clothes.
Further down, you’d find yourself admiring silk sarees from Bengal, wooden paintings, stone carvings and a host of other knick -knacks.
You can also pick up precious gemstones from Sri Lanka. The Blue Sapphire regarded as the king of Sri Lankan gems is also available.
Sadly, the food stalls here leave a lot to be desired. Except for Nepalese momos, there isn’t much you’d want to savour here.
Location: Located next to Yemen Pavilion, close to the main entrance.