This will be the best Global Village season in Dubai: CEO Filed on October 23, 2020
Picture retrieved from Instagram (left), supplied photo (right)

Social distancing will be in effect, and signage will be clearly visible throughout the park.

With two days left before the opening of Dubai’s Global Village, its CEO Badr Anwahi shared details of how the popular family destination will create a one-of-a-kind experience . Considering the risks of Covid-19 infection, the Global Village team has spared no effort to ensure visitors have a safe and fun-filled outing at the silver jubilee edition this year, says Anwahi.

Q: How challenging is it to open Global Village for the public amid a pandemic?

We are proud of our strong health and safety record and strive to set benchmarks for our industry. We became the first theme park in the world to win the "Sword of Honour" accreditation for safety management excellence from the British Safety Council and continue to work to standards developed alongside international bodies such as the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). These accomplishments are a tribute to our preparations and our teams, and we look forward with confidence to welcoming guests and partners over the coming months for our silver jubilee season. Although there are many challenges to overcome, we also continue to learn and evolve. Nothing is impossible, and we are fortunate to have a highly flexible team that is always willing to adapt to new situations.

Q: Can you explain what precautionary measures are being taken to ensure the safety of visitors? Will there be temperature checks at all entrances?

First and foremost, social distancing will be in effect, and signage will be clearly visible throughout the park. We have installed thermal screening at all access points, and masks are mandatory for guests and staff alike. More than 600 hand sanitiser stations have also been installed across the park, and cleaning schedules have been increased so rides and attractions are sterilised, toilets and prayer rooms disinfected, and all touchpoints cleaned regularly. Additionally, valet parking has been replaced by the new Premium self-Parking car park following best precautionary practices. Contactless payment solutions will be introduced across all outlets in the park as part of our efforts to utilise digitisation capabilities to enhance the guest experiences.

Q: How will this edition be different from the previous one?

Global Village always strives to bring new and exciting attractions to our guests. This year, we are excited to welcome two new pavilions: Russia and Cambodia and Vietnam, to take the total number to 26, representing a total of 78 cultures. At the same time, six bespoke shows have been rehearsing to thrill our guests with a wide variety of performance styles and genres, plus five new productions in collaboration with globally recognised brands such as Peter Rabbit, the Care Bears and Octonauts are set to debut. Our ever popular carnival will also host a number of new walk-in attractions and rides such as the adrenaline booster Manila Mayhem; our brand new reverse time ride manufactured in Italy that rotates at 20rpm, 7m in the air.

Q: Will there be restrictions on the total number of people allowed to enter at a time? And What are the arrangements inside the pavilions to ensure social distancing?

While our immense outdoor venue is perfectly suited for social distancing, Global Village will continue to closely manage park capacity in line with UAE government and health authority recommendations. If the Park does reach capacity, guests will be alerted through social media and the new website and mobile app.

Q: What are the contingency measures in place if someone tests positive or shows symptoms of the virus?

We are working closely with all related authorities and will be following their set of protocols in dealing with any cases that show symptoms of the virus. Our thermal screening process that is installed at all entry points of the park will assist us to identify possible symptoms so we can prevent guests or partners with high fever entering the park. Our partners, Dubai Ambulance, operate at our destination and are on standby to support. We have implemented an isolation protocol in case any guests or staff exhibit symptoms until the individual is safely transferred to the medical authorities for further testing procedures.

Q: There are travel restrictions in many countries around the world as cases are on an upward spiral? What is the response you are getting from participants?

We are pleased to work alongside the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which will help us to facilitate the procedures for obtaining visas so our partners and their teams from all continents can participate in Season 25 and celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary with us. The number of applications we have received from participants is five per cent higher than last year and this is very encouraging. Participants realise the potential that comes with Global Village. They want to compensate losses from their respective countries and success in previous seasons brings them back to work with us again.

Q: What will be the health protocol in place for participants when they arrive in Dubai?

All Global Village participants will follow the Dubai travel guidelines as set out by our government, which includes stringent testing both before and after they travel. As I mentioned earlier, our partner, the GDRFA is supporting us in assisting our partners with these travel procedures.

Q: How many countries and stalls will there be this year?

This year, 26 pavilions will be open across the park to represent 78 countries and these have their boutiques, food outlets, and entertainment stalls. More than 3,500 outlets will be present across the park to present our guests with unique cultural and entertainment programs and unforgettable experiences.

Q: What is your message to residents as well as tourists?

We are genuinely excited by our customer experience transformation ahead of this season and kindly ask our guests to follow us on social media in case of any updates and announcements on the day of your visit. Our goal is to continue delivering the very best cultural and entertainment experiences in a safe, enjoyable and open-air space. We have been providing unforgettable experiences for over two decades and our Silver Jubilee Season promises to be a season like no other!

Global village timings:

>Saturday: 2pm-11pm

>Sunday to Wednesday: 4pm till midnight

>Thursdays, Fridays and public holidays: 4pm until 1am

>Mondays remain reserved for families and ladies


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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