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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Open now: Your A to Z Global Village guide

From country pavilions offering traditional handicrafts, to food stalls, stage shows and funfair rides, here’s an A to Z guide to what you can expect

The main Cultural Stage at Global Village. Courtesy Global Village
The main Cultural Stage at Global Village. Courtesy Global Village

Season 22 of Global Village kicked off today and will run for a total of 158 days. From country pavilions offering traditional handicrafts, to food stalls, a variety of stage shows and funfair rides, here’s an A to Z guide to what you can expect this year.

April 7, 2018 is the last day of Global Village 2017-18, which means you have five months to experience this season’s offerings.

Bosnia and The Balkans is one of the new country pavilions introduced this year. For insight into the region’s cuisine, try Bosnian House Restaurant.

Carnaval is a brand-new funfair experience offering 28 rides, 34 skill-based games and more than 100 arcade games.

Dining options have been extended and there are now 23 restaurants and cafes to choose from, along with 120 kiosks. Cuisines on offer include Bosnian, Turkish, Indian, Arabic, Egyptian and Yemeni.

Entertainment will include 23 scheduled concerts featuring popular Bolly-wood playback singers such as Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam and Mika Singh. A concert will take place every Friday at 9pm. There will also be cultural shows such as Beyond Bollywood, Shaolin Monks and The Silk Road.

Family packs are available at selected Eppco and Enoc petrol stations around the UAE, and selected Aswaaq and Union Coop branches. The packs are priced at Dh99, and include four entry tickets, a Carnaval card valued at Dh75, one valet parking ticket and two mini-train tickets.

Globo, the village’s very own globe-headed mascot, will return this season with a series of shows where he and his six friends will face a number of obstacles. He’ll need help from the audience to overcome them, so get your kids involved.

High Voltage is just one of the 12,000 shows that will be presented on Global Village’s stages this season, and will feature high-octane acrobatic stunts.

Infrastructure has been enhanced for the 22nd season, with two new bus routes from Al Rashidiya Metro Station and Mall of the Emirates Metro Station. There are upgraded and themed pathways for pedestrians, as well as new lanes offering easy access to parking zones for buses and taxis. Plus, there are new traffic signs so you don’t lose your way.

Jordan’s dedicated pavilion will offer a wide variety of products that contain skin-nourishing minerals from the Dead Sea, making it a must-visit for beauty enthusiasts.

Khalifa Foundation’s pavilion offers Emirati vendors an opportunity to run their own stalls, in order to gain experience in managing a business. Expect to find a selection of Emirati-inspired clothing, accessories, perfumes and home accessories here.

LED festoon lights have been strung up across the common areas of the park, so 18,000 twinkling bulbs will illuminate your Global Village experience, and guide you along your way.

Monster Stunt Show is an exhilarating spectacle featuring stunts, car chases and special effects.

Nepal is part of a new South Asia Pavilion, which will simultaneously showcase the rich cultures of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Over 10,000 members of staff, representing more than 90 nationalities, are employed at Global Village this year.

Parking has, thankfully, been extended, with 300 extra parking lots, bringing the total up to 18,300 spots. There is now designated two-wheeler parking as well.

Quench your thirst at two new coffee shops, Strawcolate and Cupa Gahwa. We also recommend the fondue skewers at Strawcolate if you’re looking for a quick energy boost.

Respectable clothing is required to enter the park, and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes as there’s lots of walking to be done.

Shop to your heart’s content at the Syria pavilion. Stalls here are a replica of the markets of Hamidiyah in old Damascus, and showcase the country’s expertise in antique furniture, copper work and calligraphic art. Don’t forget to try the various sweets, roasted nuts, dried fruits and, of course, baklava, that is on offer at many shops here.

Trees have been planted across the park to make it greener and provide visitors with much-needed shade. In total, 10,000 trees have been added around the village and green areas have been extended to an expansive 50,000 square metres.

Upgrades to Global Village’s digital assets include an entertainment calendar, weather feature, games and prizes on both the website and mobile app.

Victory Project will see 15,000 students from 50 schools creating sculptures of the three-finger salute favoured by the vice president and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, which will be displayed at Global Village.

Wheelchair access is provided throughout, and there are also 100 wheelchairs available on site.

Xenophobes need not bother attending. The whole point of Global Village is to engage with and learn about new cultures, so go with an open mind.

Yemeni honey is world-renowned and if you haven’t tasted it before, head to the Yemen pavilion, where sellers will give you a sample and talk you through its benefits. There is a large variety available, and each claims to offer a solution to a health issue.

Zones have been created for easy access and wayfinding. There are also 500 themed benches within the different zones, where you can stop and take a breather. You’ll most likely need it.

Global Village is open from Saturday to Wednesday from 4pm to 12am, and on Thursdays, Fridays, and public holidays from 4pm to 1am. Tickets cost Dh15; children under the age of 3 and adults above the age of 65 enter free.

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Read more:

Sneak peek at this season's Global Village

Honey in the UAE: where it comes from, how to use it, and the benefits

Cirque du Soleil's Avatar-inspired musical heads to Dubai

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