Friday, February 9, 2018

Global Village Dubai: Overwhelming, but Recommended

This is the last and shortest post in a three-part series on our trip to Dubai. (You can read the first here and the second here.) This entry focuses on one of the last attractions we visited: the Global Village. Our friends were not the biggest fans, but we loved it.

It's very inexpensive to enter the Global Village, but a lot of things inside cost money: the food, the souvenirs, the drinks, etc. Many countries had their own sections of the village, while others were lumped together into categories. For example, each of the Arab Gulf countries had their own section, but the entire continent of Africa was crammed together (as were both of the Americas).

My favorite part was the sharing of traditional or cultural crafts of some kind (or music or art), often by people from that culture wearing traditional dress. A man beautifully engraves plates, often with Islamic art or Arabic calligraphy, in the photo above. Below, a man weaves a traditional basket.

There was so much to see in the Global Village that, to be honest, it was a little overwhelming. It's one of the reasons we didn't get nearly as many photos there. We later learned that Dubai tears the whole thing down every year and completely remakes the displays for each country or region to keep things new and interesting for visitors. It even gets the locals to keep going!

At the end of the day, we recommend the Global Village at least as a way to get a fairly authentic taste of quite a few places around the world, despite its shortcomings. (For example, even though all of Africa was regrettably lumped together, once we walked inside we found the exact kinds of distinctive paintings and crafts that you would find in any Kenyan market. We were really surprised!) We only spent a few hours there, but a full evening (including dinner and one of the many free shows) would have been even better.

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