Last-minute guide to Global Village before it closes for summer

Popular Dubai venue pulling out all the stops for its last hurrah this week

Global Village closes on May 5. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Last week Global Village announced it was extending the current season to May 5 – much to the delight of tourists and residents looking to take last-minute trips to the venue before it shuts for summer.

The long-established family attraction was originally due to close on April 28. In the weeks running up to this date, heavy rains struck the UAE, forcing Global Village to cancel some of its major shows, including what would have been its final concert featuring Swedish pop star Zara Larsson.

However, the institute is promising a fun, action-packed week for everyone who makes it down before it closes.

Social media talks and DJ sets

While Larsson's performance has been completely shelved, the venue has announced new events featuring other artists in the coming days. First on the schedule is a talk and meet-and-greet with some of today's biggest Arab social media personalities – Ghaith Marwan, Sara Alwa, Islam Afro and Raghda. The talk will take place on May 1.

Ending the season with an electrifying set will be DJ Dany Neville, who'll take to the main stage on May 5.

Headline events aside, the theme park still has a daily programme of cultural shows within individual country pavilions, from India to Lebanon. America's Got Talent contestants Urban Crew, who are frequent Global Village performers, are also in the line-up, as well as comedic act Clowns to the Rescue.

Visit season debuts and all-time classics

Global Village is known to be an all-encompassing entertainment venue for the family, with many attractions and experiences designed for all ages.

The carnaval, for example, has more than 195 rides and games to check out. Horror lovers can enter House of Fear while those who fancy themselves as great marksmen can drop by the shooting zone. Children can spend some time at Diggers Lab, while family and friends are welcome to try the mini golf attraction.

Mini World, meanwhile, is the perfect spot for Instagram-worthy snaps. Debuting this season, it houses 25 miniature global landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Colosseum in Rome. It also features a range of thrill-inducing activities in the Neon Galaxy Challenge Zone, such as wall climbing zones and obstacle courses.

Another main feature at the venue this season is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! “Odditorium” which is home to wacky exhibitions, optical illusions and other interactive zones. There's a mirror maze, a 4D moving theatre and an immersive virtual reality adventure for the little ones. Since its Global Village debut in 2019, the space has added new exhibits year by year, keeping the experience fresh for visitors.

Head to the markets for worldwide cuisine and trinkets

Global Village attracts different kinds of visitors. There are those looking for family-friendly fun and adventure, while others sign up for the food and the proverbial retail therapy.

Firstly, the Dubai venue is a veritable rabbit hole of endless food outlets. This season, nearly 300 cafes, stalls and restaurants are on-site – a mixed bag of old and new vendors whipping up sweet and savoury dishes and desserts.

The Floating Market and Railway Market are abundant with Asian delights, from Korean street food Tteokbokki to Thai dessert mango sticky rice. There are Middle Eastern favourites, American classics and other cuisine staples for the intrepid foodies who visit Global Village with dining as the main motivation. If you want some help kick-starting the last-minute food trip to the venue, here's our guide.

Retail is also another major attraction with 3,500 outlets peppered across the vast site, selling everything from home decor to fashion pieces and other memorabilia. The 27 pavilions are also a treasure trove of such items, including carpets from the Morocco pavilion to a range of spices at the India pavilion.

Global Village is open from 4pm until midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and until 1am from Thursday to Saturday. More information is available at

Updated: April 29, 2024, 10:34 AM