Global Village: A Mini Trip Around the World | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 28, 2014

Global Village: A Mini Trip Around the World

Winter finally beckons. Breeze is cooler, nights are longer, but that doesn't mean it's time to hibernate. When the mercury drops, Dubai comes even more alive! It's the right time to dine alfresco, to enjoy the great outdoors, and most of all, to hit the seasonal attractions that only open during the cool months. 

Early this month, I got to visit a popular winter destination, the Global Village.

Global Village is a huge outdoor entertainment complex in Dubailand. It has over 30 pavilions representing different countries where visitors can experience the uniqueness of each culture, devour traditional cuisines and shop specialty items. Basically, it is a village where the world meets!

Global Village in Dubai
Global Village: a winter destination in Dubai

Global Village is an attraction that could somehow quench my thirst for traveling. However, with its location in the outskirts, I always had to think twice prior visiting. With thousands of visitors using the public bus, my bus ride experiences to and from the area were quite horrible. I know, it was way back when the city's public transportation isn't that great yet, but getting squeezed in the commuter crowd year after year left me a little traumatized. So, Ed and I missed the Global Village for two consecutive years.

This year, I got persuaded when Ed's colleagues planned the trip. I guess it's also about time to give Global Village another shot as the public bus schedule seems more organized this year. But since we were a group of six, we decided to conveniently take the cab and equally divide the total fare which is really a good move as it costs as much as the bus fare.     

groupie at the Global Village
groupie at the Global Village

It took us around 40 minutes to reach Global Village from Bur Dubai. We arrived past four in the afternoon, just a few minutes after the gates have opened. Global Village is open from 4pm to 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and public holidays, and 4pm to 12mn on weekdays. We bought our tickets at the booth beside the main gate; general admission ticket is at 15 AED. 

The moment I entered the gates, I could already tell how Global Village has changed for the better. It looks more lively with the vibrant and beautifully designed pavilions. It is also well-planned with maps, sign boards and "How can we make you happy?" desks.

Africa Pavilion at the Global Village
 Africa Pavilion bursting with colors
entertainment at the Global Village
entertainment at Africa pavilion
Iraq Pavilion at the Global Village
Iraq Pavilion
Iran Pavilion at the Global Village
Ed and I in Iran... I mean, in Iran Pavilion!

Global Village is so huge that a single visit is not sufficient to explore each pavilion. Admiring the facade of the pavilions alone took most of our time. It is actually walking around Global Village that I enjoy the most. It's like taking a stroll in the streets of Europe, then magically being transported to Far East Asia, then to the Middle East!

Italy Pavilion at the Global Village
Italy Pavilion
Europe Pavilion at the Global Village
Europe Pavilion
Philippines Pavilion at the Global Village
The Philippines Pavilion: a humble bahay kubo
Cambodia Pavilion at the Global Village
Cambodia Pavilion
China Pavilion at the Global Village
China Pavilion

"Walking around the world" can be pretty exhausting and Global Village offers a solution. There's a large open space in the middle of the theme park to take a breather. We spent several minutes watching little kids frolic in the colorful geysers. We stood beside the calm lake that showcases a fountain show at night. 

colorful geysers at The Global Village
the kids and the colorful geysers 
man-made lake at The Global Village
man-made lake with dancing fountain shows at night
Happiness is... a bunch of balloons! :)

As a foodie, I was very much delighted to see more food kiosks this year. Outside the pavilions are food stands selling variety of snacks from different parts of the globe; like slices of fresh Thai fruits, authentic Turkish Borek, piping hot Karak tea and a whole lot more. I got a cheesy borek for snack, had a comforting burger from the fast food stall for dinner and ended the night with yummy Turkish mini donuts!   

food stalls at the Global Village
food stalls at the Global Village
Turkish Food at the Global Village
Turkish Borek: delicious pastry with cheese filling
Fast Food at the Global Village
dinner at the fast food area
Turkish Mini Donuts at the Global Village
Turkish Mini Donuts... oh so tempting!

Situated on the other side of the water canal is a Fantasy Island for all ages. The "island" is dotted with carnival games and amusement rides at all intensity levels; from the classic carousel to the thrilling 2-Extreme. Ed was a happy kid, screaming at the top of his lungs while at the pendulum-like ride that makes 360 degree loops. The rides are priced based on the intensity; 10-20 AED for children and family rides, 25 to 80 AED for the thrilling ones. 

funfair at the Global Village's Fantasy Island
funfair at the Global Village's Fantasy Island
carnival game at the Global Village
Join the carnival fun and win a minion! Yay!
ferris wheel at the Global Village
spot the UAE flag  
extreme ride at the Global Village
2-extreme: one of the thrilling rides at the Global Village 
thrill seeker at the Global Village
the thrill-seeker at the 2-Extreme ride

Global Village has improved in all aspects; public transportation included. Going home wasn't difficult like before as we were able to hail a cab at the gates. I guess it was my lucky night, but I also spotted a designated taxi stand beside bus terminal. Hence, I think should shake off my "GV trauma" and might as well plan for a return trip before the season ends.

Global Village
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road Exit 37
Dubai, UAE

4pm to 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and public holidays 
4pm to 12mn on weekdays
Monday is a Family Day, except if it's a public holiday. 
*Global Village is open until April 2015.

How to get there by public transportation:
by Taxi: around 60 AED per trip
by bus: from Al Ghubaiba and Union bus station 
Please contact RTA at 8009090 for bus schedule.

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