Dubai: The Pakistan Pavilion built to emulate various historical structures of Lahore has been a big draw among visitors of Global Village.
The beautifully created façade and interiors include the Badshahi Masjid, the Shahi Qila — the replica of the famous citadel in Lahore, the Minar-e-Pakistan, which literally means the ‘tower of Pakistan’ — and the beautiful fountains of Shalimar Bagh of Lahore.
At the entrance itself, one is greeted by a pleasant guide dressed in traditional Pakistani attire representing the Sindh province’s style of clothing including an Ajrak (block print shawl) and a Saraiki topi (a Sindhi hat). Junaid Ali Siddiqui, the host and guide of the pavilion, welcomes guests with the traditional hospitality associated with the centuries-old region and proudly shows off the replicas of historical structures in the pavilion.
He engages guests as he regales them with stories from the past while explaining the history of the structures.
As one walks through the pavilion, a visitor might hear the high-pitched voices of women bargaining on the price of the authentic Pakistani cotton dress material called ‘lawn’. Mumtaz Ahmad, the shopkeeper, proudly shares that most of his clientele includes Emirati ladies who love the soft cotton of Pakistan to stitch their kaftans as well as the bejewelled versions, which are used to make the more formal Jalabiyia. “I get all my material from Faisalabad and Lahore to sell at Global Village and they are immensely popular. I guess I have a real eye for good designs that my lady customers love. I have been coming to Global Village for the past from years from Pakistan to run this shop. I don’t even run a shop in my country because I make enough money in the five months that is sufficient for me to run my home for the remaining part of the year,” says Mumtaz Ahmad.
Abdul Razak Khan, another shopkeeper belonging to the Western provinces of Pakistan, sells Kashmiri carpets. “This is my first time at Global Village and I came here to sell my carpets because I had heard that people from all around the world visit this place looking for authentic items.”
Another shop that sells some interesting and authentic items including hand-crafted wooden tables as well as hand-painted wooden wall hangings which are favourites of buyers. Made of genuine Rose wood, the products range from wooden crockery and clocks to jewellery boxes. A treat for visitors who are looking to add interesting pieces to their home, the special pieces which are handmade by Pakistani artisans are sold to support the handicraft industry of the country.
Shah Jee Marble holds the largest collection of products made in marble at Global Village. Right from massive garden fountains to classic chess sets to bowls, plates, coffee pots, vases, ashtrays, glasses and even plates, the guests will be amazed with the vast collection of marble products.
The Nimco Shop that sells authentic Pakistani snacks and savouries of Rawalpindi is another popular joint at the Pakistan Pavilion. Ghulam Abbas, the shopkeeper, said, “We have up to 30 varieties of snack items which are made and brought from Rawalpindi — that’s a really small number considering we have over 75 varieties in Pakistan.”
With so much to buy and see, one cannot leave the pavilion without buying a simple yet traditional pot or vase made by Mohammad Imran, a potter from a small village called Ahmadpur in Pakistan. The potter belongs to a family of craftsmen who have been earning their livelihood through pottery. “I have a small workshop in my village where I specialise in this sort of work. I am very grateful to Global Village for giving me an opportunity to present and sell my work on such a big platform where international visitors take interest in what I consider something ordinary. This is a big encouragement to people like me and helps keep our traditions alive”.
Global Village will continue to provide a unique shopping, food, and entertainment experiences to its guests every day until April 8.
Global Village’s opening hours are from 4pm to midnight, Saturday to Wednesday, and from 4pm to 1am on Thursdays and Fridays in addition to public holidays