Dubai: Shopping, culture, cuisine and entertainment from 78 countries all comes together in one place as the latest Global Village season starts on Sunday in Dubai.
The sprawling outdoor attraction is among the most visited worldwide, with 42,000 guests per day on average.
Silver Jubilee Season
The Silver Jubilee (Season 25), which runs till April 18, 2021, includes newcomers Russia, Cambodia and Vietnam joining dozens of other countries in 26 pavilions. Also, more than 100 new additions have been included this season in the ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’ collection of artefacts and exhibits from the natural, scientific, artistic and human oddities. New to the human oddities gallery is the Willard Wigan Display, which showcases some of the smallest handmade artworks and masterpieces in history. The Magical Studio gallery is now home to horror-themed old-age prison cell exhibits. The Marvellous Mirror Maze has also been upgraded for newfound levels of illusion.
Moreover, one of the latest attractions in Carnaval is the thrill ride ‘Manila Mayhem’ that hovers seven meters above ground with a 360-degree rotation at 20 revolutions per minute. The Global Village mainstay is now home to more than 30 kids, family and thrill rides, as well as dozens of skill games and no fewer than 100 arcade games.
Meanwhile the kids’ theatre is welcoming new character shows including Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Care Bears and ‘Don’t Do the Dodo’ based on the popular children’s book ‘The Curious Tale of the Dodo’.
In the street entertainment line-up, the new additions include Living Lamp-Posts, Retro Rocket, Global Village Knights and The Rolling Tones, joining long-time favourites Man in a Bin, Super Helpful Heroes, Gorilla in a Cage and Ollie the Ostrich.
New stunt show
A brand new stunt show, Mission Speed, completes the entertainment line-up with Ace detectives Abby Marshall and Frank Adams from the North Rapids Police Department setting up a sting operation to foil a gang of ruthless cyber criminals — but it doesn’t go exactly to plan. It features high-speed police car chases, firefights, precision driving, back-flipping bikes, explosions and high falls.
This year’s opening concern, on Friday, will be ‘Rockin’1000’, dubbed “the biggest rock band on earth”, headline “the largest virtual rock show in history”. In partnership with Arabian Radio Network (ARN), Emirates and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the event will be streamed on the Global Village Main Stage as 2,500 singers and musicians from more than 80 countries perform for the whole world. The event will also be live streamed on Global Village’s YouTube channel. This year, the main stage provides seating for guests to enjoy the line-up of traditional and contemporary anchor shows.
Global Village has also introduced a brand new app and mobile website for online ticket purchases and improved in-park guest experience. In addition, for guests who prefer contactless payment options, Global Village has introduced GVPay by Noqodi which will enable diners and shoppers to pay with their smart phones at all outlets.
Food from all corners
In total, there are 19 restaurants and four cafés to choose from this season, with the newest additions to the Global Village restaurant scene including Georgian, Syrian, American and South African cuisines. Street food fans can choose from more than 170 kiosks and trolleys for culturally diverse offerings.
More comfort and safety measures than ever before are also in place as the park operates under “new normal” standards. As expected, social distancing will be in effect across the park, and seating has been introduced in front of the Main Stage to ensure requisite guidelines can be easily respected.
All guests and staff will be wearing face coverings and Global Village has designed complimentary face masks for kids to make sure their mask is part of the fun. Thermal screening will be in operation at all entry points and more than 600 hand sanitiser stations have been installed across the entire Park.
From Carnaval fun to rickshaw trips, disinfection procedures will be in place after every ride. Restaurants will be required to follow physical distancing guidelines and disinfect tables and chairs after every use. The cleaning schedule frequency has also been significantly increased and full disinfection of all facilities will take place after the daily closure of the park. Global Village has partnered with ShieldMe, a leading sanitisation product provider to ensure maximum protection for their staff and guests.
Anyone experiencing symptoms such as coughing or fever should avoid visiting the park. Elderly guests and those with chronic conditions, meanwhile, are advised to avoid crowed areas. Also, wheelchairs, shopping trolleys and other shared items will be sanitised after every use.
This year, prayer rooms will be open only during prayer hours and will be sanitised after every prayer time. Also, valet parking services will not be available. Paid parking will be provided in front of the Gate of the World.
COVID-19 PCR test upon request
Global Village earlier announced Prime Hospital Clinic will operate inside the park for any medical emergencies while its medical staff are trained to offer PCR tests as an additional service for Global Village guests upon request. Crowds at Global Village will also be closely managed and if the park reaches the mandated capacity, the public will be alerted through social media and the new website and mobile app.
‘Make it one to remember’
Global Village CEO Bader Anwahi said: “We have been working around the clock over recent months to ensure this historic season delights our guests. Over the last quarter of a century, the profile and popularity of Global Village have continued to evolve, resulting in a loyal following at home and abroad. We are delighted to open our gates to the world for this milestone season and invite friends old and new to join us for the celebration. The incredible support we have received from our valued stakeholders, partners, staff and guests have led us to this very special moment and we are grateful for the opportunity to share it with our many patrons. I am so proud of how our team has injected elements of fun into the exceptional precautionary measures that we have implemented. This is an extraordinary year and we are confident that our improved customer experience together with the many exciting new offerings will make it one to remember.”
Urban Crew is returning with their brand new show ‘HIT’ featuring tricks, stunts, flips and acrobatics. ‘StreetJam’ will showcase an all-female dance crew on main stage with tracks and special effects. ‘Auto Angels’ is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 1970s featuring Vegas-style illusions and a soundtrack. ‘Slumber Tales’ will take children on an Arabian adventure. This year’s Bollywood feature brings guests on a journey of moviemaking.
The Kids’ Theatre will also host the team from Green Planet every Saturday and Monday of the season for an educational presentation of exotic live animals, including an Ant-eater, a Tarantula, a Giant Turtle, and a Python.
The Street Entertainment sees the return of long-time favourites Man in a Bin, Super Helpful Heroes, Gorilla in a Cage and Ollie the Ostrich.
For Season 25, park hours are opening early on Saturdays, from 2pm until 11pm. Sundays to Wednesdays will be from 4pm to midnight, with entry gates closing at 11.30pm. On Thursday, Friday, and all public holidays, opening hours are 4pm until 1am, with entry permitted until 12.30am. Monday will still be reserved as a Family Day except for public holidays.
Tickets can be purchased on-site for Dh15 per person. They can also be bought through the Global Village app and the Apple AppStore and Android Playstore. The categories of people eligible for free entry include children under three years of age, people of determination (along with one companion each), and seniors above 65 years of age.
In line with added safety precautions, valet parking services will not be available this season. Paid parking will be provided in front of the Gate of the World. Also, holders of Global Village VIP packs will have access to VIP parking zones through smart parking gates with online car registration.
The public bus service to Global Village will resume on Sunday, this time with deluxe coaches. With preventive health measures on-board, the four routes are Route 102 from Rashidiya Metro Station, Route 103 from Union Metro Station, Route 104 from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, and Route 106 from Mall of Emirates Metro Station.