Bringing the world to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s leading tourism hotspot, Global Village in Dubai is a mega-attraction that combines entertainment, dining and shopping. It’s home to 27 international pavilions, hundreds of food hubs and rides, thousands of retail outlets and shows representing 78 countries and 90 cultures worldwide. As a global marketplace, it lets visitors of all ages immerse themselves in various cultures and embark on a unique journey — even without leaving the city.
How to get to Global Village
You can find Global Village along Sheikh Mohammed Road (E311). While there’s no Dubai Metro station directly connected to it, it can be easily reached via bus, taxi or ride-hailing services.
Depending on which station you’re coming from, these are the bus route numbers to watch out for:
- Bus 102 (Rashidiya Metro Station)
- Bus 103 (Union Station)
- Bus 104 (Al Ghubaiba Station)
- Bus 106 (Mall of the Emirates Metro Station)
Buses in Dubai are a safe choice, but if you want better convenience, you may hail a taxi or book a ride-hailing service to get to Global Village. You can also drive your own car, head to exit 37 and take advantage of its 20,000 parking spots.
When to visit Global Village?
Global Village is not open year-round. It’s only operational from October to April (In 2022, it was open until May due to popular demand). For its 28th season, it opened on October 18, 2023. It will close on April 28, 2024. According to its website, below are the general operating hours this season:
- Sundays to Wednesdays: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
- Thursdays and public holidays: 4:00 pm – 1:00 am
Tuesdays, except public holidays, are reserved for families and female guests.
Also, note that the park attracts millions of visitors each season, securing its position as the fourth busiest park globally in terms of daily attendance. For its 27th season, it attracted a record-breaking 9 million visitors. If you want to avoid huge crowds, consider visiting it during weekdays.
Global Village infrastructure
Global Village occupies an expansive 1.6 million square meters of land, making it one of the biggest multicultural parks in the world. It consists of four major sections dedicated to dining, shopping, carnivals, and events and concerts.
Particularly, its Carnaval boasts over 170 rides, attractions and games to explore. Additionally, it offers more than 200 cafes, restaurants and street food kiosks for an indulgent culinary adventure.
Beyond these, the park offers more amenities for your convenience. There are prayer rooms, smart vending machines, lockers, ATMs, information kiosks and emergency medical booths. Apart from the parking mentioned above, there’s also a new valet parking service at the Happiness Gate. Free WiFi is also available.
Global Village attractions and cultural experiences
Global Village in Dubai is all about cultural experiences. As Mohamed Sharaf emphasized, they always make it a point “ to evolve the Global Village experience based on the insights and feedback [they] receive from [their guests and partners.” Sharaf is a chief operating officer of Dubai Holding Entertainment, the company that manages the park.
“With 90 percent of guests telling us they intend to return to Global Village, finding ways to take the customer experience to the next level is always a priority,” he added. These are some of the park’s highlights.
For Season 28, the park showcases 27 themed pavilions strategically placed throughout the area. In each pavilion, you can try delicacies, shop for unique souvenirs and check out various exhibitions and cultural experiences. Some of the most popular pavilions include Japan, Türkiye, Europe, the Americas and Iran, among others.
In Japan, for instance, you can witness an exciting sumo wrestling match. Meanwhile, you can watch artisans create calligraphy and carpet weave at the Iran pavilion.
A plethora of shows
The park also offers a myriad of entertainment options. In its newest season, you can choose from an array of 40,000 exciting shows designed to captivate your imagination. These range from kids’ shows, cultural performances and live concerts to street entertainment and mind-blowing stunts.
At Merry-Go-Round, you can get access to a top-class circus show. Jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats and fire breathers perform stunts around a stunning carousel. On the other hand, The Nine offers a spectacular experience featuring synchronized dancers complemented by programmed LED light sequences.
Exciting rides and games
As mentioned, there are also many rides and games to explore. If you want to add dashes of thrill to your Global Village experience, try Global Burj, where you will be dropped down from a height of 85 meters. At Miami Surf, you can surf along a 240-meter-long river. There are also arcade and skills games that showcase classics and virtual games.
This season, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!® “odditorium” returns with 250 exhibits. This is inclusive of 40 new ones. This family-friendly attraction showcases eccentric displays from visual illusions to pop culture memorabilia.
You can also check out Global Village’s newest addition: the Mini World. As its name implies, it features 25 replicas of iconic global landmarks, including Burj Khalifa, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Statue of Liberty, the Sphinx and the Grand Mosque.
Global Village shopping
Global Village in Dubai offers “a kaleidoscope of culture.” And you can bring home a piece (or pieces) of these cultures, thanks to its 3,500 retail and commercial outlets.
You can also visit specific pavilions to browse through goods that serve as points of pride for the countries and continents featured. Some of the most popular items include local delicacies, chopsticks, Arabic coffee, K-pop-themed merchandise and Matryoshka dolls. The wide-ranging things you can shop also include Turkish carpets, Egyptian wall paintings, African handcrafted items, ponchos from the Americas, and Mukhawar, Ghatra, shawls and other traditional clothes.
There’s also an Aaliba supermarket. It’s a one-stop shop for essentials, cold drinks and quick bites. For a better shopping experience, the park has an Al Ansari Exchange where you can exchange foreign currency and even make global money transfers.
Global Village: How it started
Before becoming the leading family-oriented, multicultural attraction it is today, Global Village began as a small project in 1997. It started as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival, featuring kiosks that represent various countries. Its inaugural season attracted half a million visitors and has continuously grown since.
From its first location in Bur Dubai — in front of Dubai Municipality and near Dubai Creek Park — it moved to Oud Metha before finding a permanent home in 2005 on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.
In 2019, it welcomed Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!® odditorium. The park celebrated its 25th season with a jubilee, hitting multiple Guinness World Records. These include the highest altitude fireworks display, the biggest virtual rock concert, the largest mosaic and the largest pin badge word.
Over the years, Global Village in Dubai has indeed become a cultural phenomenon. Attracting millions of tourists, it boasts a festival-like atmosphere and a wealth of experiences, attractions and shows celebrating cultures.
Want to taste the unique Global Village experience? You can buy tickets here.
Frequently asked questions
When was Global Village closed in 2023?
Global Village concluded Season 27 on April 30, 2023.
When will Global Village Dubai be opened?
Global Village opened its gates for Season 28 on October 18, 2023.
How many countries are in Global Village?
A true “global village,” the open-air park represents 78 countries in its newest season.
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