Weird, wacky and wonderful: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! comes to Dubai’s Global Village

On display is the first ever kandura in space, worn by UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri, among other items

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It’s present in numerous prestigious locations around the world – from New York to Shanghai – but for the first time ever, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has opened doors in the UAE.

The world-famous 'odditorium' had its grand opening in Dubai's popular family destination Global Village on Sunday, December 8. Entertaining the crowd at the launch was Ripley's Believe It or Not! spokespersons Aaron Wollin, also known as Short E Dangerously, the 'half-man' who entertains crowds with his acrobatic feats. Chayne "space cowboy" Hultgren, a street performer from Australia and expert sword swallower, also made an appearance, delighting guests.

"Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditoriums have thrilled visitors the world over for 100 years," said Jim Pattison Jr, president of Ripley Entertainment. "Dubai offers a plethora of world-class entertainment, which is why we believe Global Village and the city of Dubai to be the ideal location for Ripley Entertainment's first attraction in the Mena region. We are certain people of the UAE will love the unique, bizarre and one-of-a-kind exhibits we have in store for them. Ripley's Believe It or Not! at Global Village will raise the bar for entertainment in both the UAE and the region."

The exhibit has six galleries, showcasing a collection of rare exhibits and interactive experiences. The museum’s gallery journey begins with "Robert Ripley & The World's Cultures" gallery, which displays personal artefacts collected by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! founder, Robert Ripley.

Other galleries UAE guests can expect to find include the "Amazing Humans" gallery that displays replicas of the world's most incredible human beings, followed by "A Walk Through the Ripley Warehouse" which displays odd products. The "Interactive and Fun" gallery has brainteasers to challenge adults and kids alike.

Giving the museum a local twist is the "Middle America Meets The Middle East" gallery which displays collections from Robert Ripley's visit to the Middle East. It concludes with the "Space and Astronomy" section which displays collections from outer space - including a new exhibit from the UAE's very own space expedition.

This is the latest addition to the Ripley's museum attraction, and was unveiled by Pattison Jr and Bader Anwahi, chief executive officer of Global Village. Created in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, it gives guests the chance to see the first-ever kandura in space, worn by UAE astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri, as well as his space patches and food. The exhibit will be displayed for the remainder of the season.

Adding to the fun are wax figures of historical people, interactive games and a Vortex Tunnel. Finally, guests can challenge their senses as they attempt to find their way out of Ripley’s Marvellous Mirror Maze, complete with 100 mirrors, LED lighting and digital sound.

Entry to Global Village is Dh15 and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Tickets are Dh40 per person, while entry to the Amazing Mirror Maze is Dh25. Guests can purchase a combo ticket for Dh50.