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A man sells wares made of onyx marble in Pakistan’s pavilion. Image Credit: Anjan Jolly

Dubai: As a first time visitor, I was blown away by the sheer grandeur of it all.

The Dubai Global Village, at first sight, is an overwhelming assault on the senses. The abundance of lights, music, people and numerous pavilions dedicated to different countries across the world, selling all sorts of things ranging from jewellery to delicacies, tend to stun one momentarily.

I came from India to do my two-week internship at Gulf News and marked Global Village as my ‘must do’ visit during my visit to Dubai. I along with my mother decided to visit the multicultural festival park this week and found it so fascinating that my mother and I decided to visit it for the second time before I go back to India to resume my studies at the university.

The multicultural theme park, which launched its 24th season on 29th October 2019, is filled with markets, food stalls, fun rides and promises entertainment to people of all ages till its closing day on April 4, 2020.

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Visitors purchasing wares from a market in the Turkish pavilion.

Spread over an area of 17,200,000 square feet, the Global Village boasts of 26 pavilions representing around 78 countries, over 3500 shopping outlets, numerous restaurants, kiosks and cafés as well as stage shows, live concerts, street entertainment and the Carnaval, a family funfair park that includes over 31 thrilling rides, 25 skill games and more than a hundred arcade games.

The main attractions include Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Stunt Show and Circus Circus.

It is easy to see that the collection of pavilions representing different countries were built keeping in mind the culture and the characteristics of each country. Statues of Pharaohs adorn the entrance of the Egyptian pavilion, cherry blossoms can be found at every nook and corner in Japan’s pavilion and the pavilion dedicated to UAE portrays the cultural and architectural heritage of the region.

Anjan Jolly is an intern with Gulf News

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Global Village, currently hosting its 24th season, is one of Dubai’s most popular family attractions.

A lover of trinkets of all sorts, ranging from key chains to paper weights, my mother found her paradise in the pavilion dedicated to the country of Turkey. Since most markets had incredible offers and a huge variety of wares, she had quite a hard time choosing between what she liked more since one couldn’t very well buy an entire shop.

As we moved from one pavilion to another, I went around taking photographs as she inspected the goods, bargained with the shopkeepers and chose what to buy. The fountain show, combined with lights and music, captured our attention for a while after which we moved towards the surreal Floating Market, which was filled with shops selling Thai food, handicrafts and beauty products. We had dinner from the Dosa Camp and soon ended up at the Indian Chaat Bazaar which offered a tempting array of sweets and fruit chaats that made one feel hungry all over again.

Global Village is not only a hub for foodies, shopaholics, photographers, children and lovers of art and culture but also a perfect destination for an outing with your loved ones. Moreover, there are concerts held every week, drawing music lovers from all over the UAE to the place. Going by the posters, this week, it is Guru Randhawa, the Indian pop sensation, who will be taking over the stage on February 28, 2020.