around the world in eight hours
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
Arab Today, arab today

Around the world in eight hours

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Around the world in eight hours

Spices from Yemen. Global Village has 30 pavilions with
DUBAI - Arab Today

 We had been told about Global Village by colleagues, but admittedly were not prepared for exactly what we’d be seeing. As we approached, we noticed something poking out of the park grounds that seemed to resemble Burj Khalifa. Was it a mini-Burj, peeking out of a mini-skyline comprising miniature versions of the world’s most famous landmarks? Was that a scaled-down Eiffel Tower, nudging through just beyond it? We relished the novelty.

It was with wide eyes and slight disbelief that we walked through the World Gate; we’d never thought it would be possible to see the Pyramids of Giza, Big Ben, Taj Mahal and Statue of Liberty within a single turn of our heads. This felt like Disneyland for aspiring globe-trotters. A special congratulations to the curators as well — the Sydney Opera House was impressively accurate.

As the sun set and each country’s facade was illuminated by bright lights, the question of ‘where to eat first’ was the most pressing. After careful calculation to make sure we’d fit it all in, we devised a scrupulous eating plan. A feast soon followed: a knafah to share between the two of us, a serving of dahi puri each, a margherita pizza cone, a kakigori cheesecake, a second knafah, corn on a cob and multiple chapati omelettes. The devouring of each dish was accompanied by a wave of appreciation, although we were rolling through the pavilions by the end of the evening. Even so, we looked on longingly as we noticed all the foods we hadn’t even realised were options — ice-cream rolls and waffle burgers being the most obscure.

The snippets of conversation we’d overhear were also a novelty that didn’t get old. “I’ll meet you over in Syria in a minute,” a person would yell out to a friend. “Okay!” they’d reply, “I’ll just head over to China first.”

We’d wager there are few other places in the world where such conversations take place. As these families, tourists and locals roam around, so too do festival staff clad in shirts that ask “How can I make you happy?”.

Popular advice given to us was to avoid the temptation to “see it all”, but as we looked around at the stunning facades that formed colourful invitations to countries we’d never been before, the lure was too great. We visited every single pavilion.

The world is a true feast for the eyes: from the exquisite pashmina scarves found in India to the Shinto Torii gates welcoming you to Global Village’s first Far East pavilion and the Venetian canal running through the festival park. We experienced some of the most striking wanderlust of our lives as we ventured through Iran’s display of Persian rugs, explored Pakistan’s handicrafts and tasted authentic Yemeni honey. Our travel bucket-list was growing longer by the minute.

We discovered Global Village to be a true assault on the senses: there was so much to take in, from the smells of Tunisian street food to the sights of acrobats and circus performers, and the melodies of traditional Kurdish music. The shopping opportunities alone are overwhelming: the bounty of clothing, foods, artworks, sculpture and pop culture items rivals The Dubai Mall.

If you’ve ever been a newcomer to Dubai, you’ll agree that the multiculturalism found here is some of the most genuine in the world. Looking around the newsroom at Gulf News, or at the visitors to Dubai’s Global Village, you see people from all over the world genuinely collaborating. Everyone has his/her own English accent and a different story to tell through songs, clothes, food or prayer. Global Village’s 30 pavilions, encompassing 75 countries, are a spectacular encapsulation of the multiculturalism and celebration of culture to be found in Dubai.

— The writers are intern at Gulf News

 

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source : gulfnews

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