What to expect from Global Village 2020: opening date, virtual rock concerts, new pavilions and more

The family destination is celebrating its silver jubilee this year

A man wearing a protective mask following an outbreak of coronavirus walks at Global Village in Dubai, UAE, March 10, 2020. Picture taken March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Popular multicultural Dubai tourist attraction Global Village is getting ready to reopen for another season.

This will be the 25th anniversary, or silver jubilee, of the park, and in keeping with the theme, the new season of Global Village will launch on October 25 and run for 25 weeks, concluding in April.

Because it will be open until April, for the first time in years, UAE residents will be able to experience Ramadan at Global Village, which is likely to make for diverse iftar options.

Another change for this season is that the opening hours on Saturday have been extended. The park will be open from 2pm until 11pm (it was previously open from 4pm until midnight).

What to expect from Global Village's 25th anniversary season

This year, the festival will have 26 pavilions including newcomers Russia and Cambodia.

Other pavilions to visit include Afghanistan, Africa, Al Sanaa and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, Thailand and the UAE.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum attraction, which launched during the 24th season, will also be returning.

A rockin’ virtual concert

This season, Global Village has teamed up with Emirates and the Jumeirah Group to deliver a virtual rock concert that will take place on Friday, October 30.

The concert will be performed by the Rockin' 1000, a band of musicians and singers from around the world, and streamed on Global Village’s main stage and across its social media platforms (as well as on Emirates's in-flight entertainment system, Ice).

The Rockin' 1000 is a group of 1,000 rock musicians who originally came together as a "stunt" in 2015 to get the Foo Fighters to visit their home town of Cesena, Italy. It was organised as a crowdfunding effort by Fabio Zaffagnini who brought together the many musicians. Since then, "the world's largest rock band" have made appearances in stadiums around the world.

They are currently recruiting new members from the region to play in the coming Global Village Season 25 opening concert, which will be broadcast by Arabian Radio Network.

Singers or musicians of any level, within the UAE and outside, can take part by auditioning through the Rockin' 1000 website.

The performance will be made up of cover songs, including What a Wonderful World by the Ramones, Status Quo's Rockin' All Over the WorldYou Get What You Give by New Radicals and the classic We Will Rock You by Queen.

The 25th season of Global Village will run from October 2020 to April 2021. Courtesy Global Village 

Safety first

The 24th season of Global Village was cut short by a month because of the pandemic. Before it shut in March, guests were required to wear face masks as part of measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

This year, the festival's organisers are working with local authorities and international organisations such as the Global Association for the Attractions Industry (IAAPA) to try and safeguard public safety during the pandemic. Global Village has already received the Dubai Assured Stamp awarded by Dubai Municipality, Dubai Economy and Dubai Tourism, in light of the stringent preparations for opening.

"Our 25th anniversary is a great milestone for us and the teams are working hard to make this year very special. We also feel that this is an important message for the country and the region," says Bader Anwahi, chief executive, Global Village.

"Over the years we have become a mainstay for family entertainment across the region, and we are proud to be able to play an important role in driving the 'open for business' message.

"Our team is working tirelessly to ensure that our guests return to Global Village with confidence. Whether it’s by using state-of-the-art technology for wayfinding and contactless payment or by adapting our entertainment offerings, we are breaking new ground across all our verticals for the comfort and happiness of our guests."