Winter is (almost) here, and with it comes the return of award-winning family attraction Global Village. The seasonal park will open on October 18, and go on until April 28 (although its closing date has often been extended in years past).
The open-air complex attracted nine million visitors during its 27th season, which ran from October 25 to April 30.
Here are five reasons why Global Village is so popular.
One of the main attractions of Global Village are the country and regional pavilions where guests can experience various cultures through food and shopping.
As during the previous season, 27 pavilions are currently listed on the Global Village website including regional ones such as the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Iran and Qatar; those from farther afield, including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand and Russia; plus generic ones for Africa, the Americas and Europe.
Pavilions often put on cultural shows, but Global Village also has various stages that invite regional and international entertainers on a nearly daily basis. Last season, for instance, had a line-up of 40,000 shows.
Visitors are able to catch these acts for a fraction of their usual concert price, given tickets to the park cost between Dh20 and Dh25.
Performances in the latest season included shows by Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, Yemeni singer Balqees, Egyptian singer Mahmoud El Esseily, Bollywood singer Neha Kakkar, and Lebanese singers Myriam Fares and Nancy Ajram.
Rides and attractions
Each year, the on-site Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium adds a number of weird and wonderful exhibits to its current collection. Last season, for instance, visitors could marvel at a 14-foot-long killer crocodile as well as a model containing more than one million matchsticks.
Also new were a spooky House of Fear, movie memorabilia, ice rink and Diggers Lab for children to play at construction work.
Children will also enjoy the carnival section, which has more than 100 games and rides.
Food, more food
Visitors are well served with more than 200 restaurants, cafes and culinary kiosks. Registration for food vendors and kiosks is currently open, and Jaki Ellenby, the park’s executive marketing director, tells The National: “We try to have new concepts every year, so people can try stuff they wouldn’t be able to anywhere else.” Think rainbow burgers and Emirati gabgoob.
While we are looking forward to experimental cuisine, here's hoping last season's Road of Asia, with kiosks from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines, makes its delicious return.
New this season: VIP Wonder Pass
Those opting for a VIP pass this year will enjoy a host of new benefits and upgrades. For one, each VIP cardholder will have access to a personal concierge as well as a separate entrance, car wash porter and in-park Easy Taxi services.
You can use the Global Village app to book tables and access rides without queuing. The VIP card also makes you eligible to receive up to 200 free VIP entry tickets all season.
Global Village has also partnered with other Dubai attractions, to give its VIP guests first dibs at various offers and discounts, including at Inside Burj Al Arab tour, Roxy Cinemas and Dubai Parks and Resorts.
VIP packages range from Dh1,750 to Dh7,000, and will be available from 10am on Saturday from the Virgin Megastore Tickets website.