x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Safety checks conducted at Dubai's Global Village ahead of launch

One visitor died and 13 were injured at Global Village in March 2010 when an entrance to the India pavilion collapsed in a storm.

Global Village will open its gates to the public next week, and the entertainment, cultural and shopping festival will run until March 30, 2013.
Global Village will open its gates to the public next week, and the entertainment, cultural and shopping festival will run until March 30, 2013.

DUBAI // Safety inspectors are carrying out stringent checks at Global Village ahead of its opening on Sunday, and will close any structure found to be dangerous.

“We have specific standards related to the construction of the building or the kiosk or the pavilion, and those standards align with Dubai Municipality requirements,” said Saeed Ali bin Redha, chief executive of the GCC’s largest outdoor attraction.

“We have very good cooperation with Dubai municipality inspectors who will come to check the pavilions and any construction being made.

“We have another element, the fun-fair area, and we are implementing the European standard.”

That standard for the safety of fairground and amusement park structures was drawn up by a technical committee of the European Committee for Standardisation.

Mr bin Redha said Dubai Municipality would be responsible for ensuring the fun fair adhered to those standards, and “we have our own health and safety team who will be continually monitoring the implementation of standards.

“If there is any variation we will take very strict action that may come to a level even to stop or close a pavilion, ride or any other business.”

One visitor died and 13 were injured at Global Village in March 2010 when an entrance to the India pavilion collapsed in a storm.
Global Village will open its gates to the public next week, and the entertainment, cultural and shopping festival will run until March 30, making it the longest season yet.

There were five million visitors to the site off Emirates Road in 2011-2012, and organisers hope to match that this season.

A number of new countries are taking part, including Brazil, South Africa, Austria, Greece, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, and several Eastern European states will share a pavilion. Hong Kong will also participate.

One of the 37 pavilions will display the charitable work of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. There were 28 pavilions last year.

A specially commissioned 3D film will be projected on to the giant Earth globe that is the Village headquarters building. Extra material celebrating the UAE’s heritage and culture will be added in the run-up to National Day on December 2.

There will be trapeze and high-wire shows, a Chinese circus, fountains and four Bollywood premieres.
Hundreds of children with special needs will be guests on the opening day and will see a show featuring a Bollywood dance group and performers from the Cook Islands.

“Something that we started last year was a schools-outreach programme, where we took our entertainers across the various schools and conducted workshops and seminars, allowing children to interact one on one with people from different parts of the world,” said the culture and entertainment director, Abhishek Mathur.

“It was so successful that we’ve doubled what we did last year and we’re going to many more schools.”

Global Village began in 1996 as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival at a small site next to the Creek. It was conceived as a village where traders from other countries could sell their wares, and attracted more than 500,000 visitors in its first year.

Attendances grew steadily over the years and received a further boost in 2005 when the event moved to its current home at Dubailand.

Admission will be free on opening day and there will be extended weekend operating times of 4pm to 2am over the Eid period.
After that, it will be open from 4pm to midnight on weekdays and 4pm to 1am on weekends and holidays.

csimpson@thenational.ae