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Global village: Around the world in a day

Array of pavilions never cease to amaze visitors, expanding their cultural horizons year after year

Dubai: Once a ticket has been purchased to enter the cultural wonderland; senses are heightened as they are put to the test.
With the winter breeze brushing against one’s skin as the stroll around Global village begins, a noticeable increase in greenery and open space allow greater masses of people to fit in one place without feeling crowded.
Synergy of the distant sound of the rippling water from the gondolas, African drums pounding the chest, the voice of stall vendors inviting people into pavilions, chatters in different languages and Arianna Grande’s music blasted near the rides in Fantasy Island allows these, otherwise known as noise, different sounds to serve as the atmospheric soundtrack of the place known as the ambience.
Though one’s eyes are overwhelmed with the lights beaming from the pavilions, rich aroma of spices from available cuisines invade the lungs inviting visitors in to try the different savoury dishes.

The mist from the dancing fountain, splashing away to the Pirates of the Caribbean song, rests on one’s arms and face while walking from one pavilion to another. The sound of giggly children’s footsteps fill the place as they rush to their parents by crossing the bridge that connects the Fantasy Island theme park area with the food court area.
Given that Global Village brings together an array of pavilions from around the world in one location, visitors have native products available for them at the tips of their fingers.
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Getting around Global Village
Getting around Global Village
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Global Village attracts varied visitors
A whole new world at Global Village
Walking into the Indian pavilion, colors shine on every corner with artistically beaded shoes, soft cashmere scarves with intricate stitching and uniquely patterned native attire.
As for the Afghanistan pavilion, one cannot help but notice the sweet scents conquering the open space. Known for its honey, the pavilion offers visitors a quick taste of Afghani honey, also known as their signature product.
“A lot of people, both local and international, come to our pavilion to taste our honey and then they buy it,” said Mohammad Ashraf, a stall vendor in the Afghanistan pavilion. “They come for it because we get the honey from small bees in the mountain areas.”
However, Ashraf adds that although honey seems to be the key selling product, Afghanistan is also well known for its dried fruits. Another pavilion in Global Village well known for its honey would be the Yemeni pavilion with a wider variety available in stalls.
Egypt, the pavilion that won the Best Pavilion title last year, has a man standing at the entrance in a pharaoh costume to welcome the people entering. While the Indian pavilion proudly displays its cashmere variety, the Egyptian pavilion has a wide consumer base in terms of its cotton goods.
Upon entering, 100 per cent cotton made pajamas and clothing are showcased making them their best seller.
Mohammad El Sayed “There are products that aren’t provided all year long anywhere except during the period of time in which Global Village takes place,” said Mohammad El Sayed, stall vendor in the Egyptian Pavilion. “Our products such as our 100% cotton clothing and Egyptian nuts are widely popular especially among the local people of the country.”
Nerien Rophail, a Canadian pharmacist currently living in Dubai, expressed her fondness of Global Village in an educational sense. Rophail, who has traveled to several countries in the past, explains that visiting the different pavilions resembles traveling to the different countries.
With a facility such as Global Village available to the public, she was able to discover more about the countries she has visited and the ones she aspires to visit someday.
“For instance, I had no idea that Afghanistan was famous for their honey, carpets, jacket and dried fruits,” she explained. “And that’s why by watching native performances, tasting the food they have to offer and interacting with the natives in the pavilion teaches you about the culture of the place.”
Visiting Global Village allows visitors, like Nerien, to travel the world in one night. It allows people to move from one country to another a, couple of steps apart, saving the price of a plane ticket.

By Maria Botros, Special to Gulf News
Published: 21:30 December 19, 2014
Gulf News