Global Village is gearing up for its reopening on October 25. As the multicultural festival opens for its 25th season, there's a plethora of activities planned for guests – including the return of its popular fireworks feature that will take place every Thursday and Friday, and on special occasions such as New Year's Eve.
"This year is no ordinary year," says chief executive Bader Anwahi. In light of the pandemic, the festival’s organisers have introduced various new features that put safety first. Here’s a look at some of the changes to expect from the latest season, set to take place until April.
“Enhanced hygiene and protection are of the utmost importance due to the ongoing circumstances," says Anwahi. "We believe we have found the perfect balance between fun and safety."
Some of these measures include touchpoints bring cleaned at regular intervals, an increased cleaning schedule, and rides and attractions operating under reduced capacity. They will also be sanitised after every use, and toilets and prayer rooms disinfected.
Restaurants will also be applying social distancing between the tables and all utensils will be cleaned after every use. All kiosks across the park will also be applying queuing mechanism to ensure social distancing, Anwahi adds.
Face masks, thermal scanners and sanitisation stations
The park has installed thermal screening at all access points, and masks are mandatory for guests and staff alike. There will be more than 600 hand sanitiser stations throughout the park. Valet parking will be replaced by a premium self-parking feature.
Meanwhile, besides the standard signage, Global Village has introduced creative measures to enforce social distancing across age groups. One such example is teddy bears being introduced as a substitute to traditional signs and stickers in seating areas across the children’s theatre.
Live entertainment will continue, with cultural shows at the pavilions, street entertainment, new productions and a new stunt show.
“We have also lowered attendance in front of the main stage to 30 per cent so guests can enjoy entertainment in a comfortable environment that aligns with our social distancing policy,” says Anwahi.
Embracing digital wallets and cashless payments
Browsing through the numerous kiosks and haggling has always been one of the best-loved features of Global Village. This year, guests can expect a more streamlined experience as the festival embrace contactless payment solutions across all merchants and outlets at the park.
Through a partnership with emaratech, Global Village has launched a digital wallet solution called GV Pay by noqodi.
GV Pay by noqodi and a new Global Village app will allow guests to purchase everything they want at Global Village through their phone. Every merchant at Global Village will have a unique QR code that when scanned will connect with the shopper’s account through the mobile application for payment. Guests will be able to refill their digital wallets at any time through the application, ultimately reducing queues and reliance on cash across the park.
A revamped Global Village website and mobile application is also launching on Sunday, October 25, will allow guests to buy tickets, pay premium parking fees, and recharge their Wonder Pass online. Standard credit and debit card payments will be available at the vast majority of outlets on site.
“This year is no ordinary year, and we ask that our guests respect the precautionary measures that we have put in place for the comfort of all. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back and look forward to celebrating the Silver Jubilee Season with our partners and guests as we all enjoy cultural offerings from all over the world,” adds Anwahi.