Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Around the World in 4 Hours... or so

I think one of the best things in life is to travel anywhere in the world and discover food, culture and pocket a handful of memories.  Of course, its easier if you have enough money to back your journey.  But, here in UAE you can have a taste of what is like jumping from one country to the other without zooming in and out of immigration counters (we know how harrowing that part is!).  In one night and in one place you can finally say you have traveled the world.  Where else?  Dubai Global Village.

The Dubai Global Village is located along the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.  Its hard to miss especially if you are on your way to Dubai.  These entertainment park is so huge one night is not enough to visit all the countries exhibiting in it.

It opened on October 5, 2013 and will close on the 1st of March 2014.  Basically the park is opened during colder season.  When we visited Global Village, we left Abu Dhabi around 4:30 pm and we arrived there around 5:45 pm.  As I said, it was not hard to miss because its along the highway going to Dubai.  The hard part was finding a parking spot.  That was a Friday so the parking lot was fully jammed.  We did a little waiting until we could find a spot.  It was a bit far from the main entrance, but still better than hanging out inside the car the entire night until a slot is available.

There were plenty of counters where you can buy the entrance ticket.  It's at the right side of the main entrance.  At AED 15.00 per person, the slightly long drive going there was worth it.  Once you get inside it was chaos.  Chaos in a fun way.  The tuk-tuk by the entrance was enough indication that it's going to be one heck of a fiesta of culture inside.

Once inside, we were so overwhelmed with so many people, food stalls and shops.  We can't decide what to do first.  There were so many food I'd like to try it was confusing.  So we did the smartest thing to do when smacked inside a huge amusement park.  Studied the map.  Since it was almost dinner time, we have decided to hunt Philippine's (of course!) area so we could eat the food not readily available here in the city.

On the way there, we slip into some countries and checked their products.  I particularly love Spain.  Their cheese and the hand made items.  There is this shop that sells beautiful printed dresses and pants, I wanted to buy some but it was just too expensive for my liking.  Have to pass.  Then we found one small food court that says Thai restaurant we checked out the stalls one of them serves kwek-kwek.  It's the one most of my companions were dying to eat.  The food court doesn't have enough tables and chairs to accommodate all diners.  So we have to wait and quickly move in in case a table is vacated.

After a quick dinner, we set about roaming the entire place and win some minion at the game fair area.   The place was just too huge.  Every country featured in the village offers a lot of their products and food.  There was even a traditional dance from the Palestine booth.  It was difficult to look for the rides and game fair.  When we reached the dhow indicating the country of Kuwait, a small walkway lead to the rides and game fair.

The rides were all so scary.  I'm not a big fan of carnival rides.  I feel like I'm going to pass out just by watching the people scream their brains out with all those rides.  I love myself, so I rather watch and be happy for those who like to torture themselves.  I wanted to win those big minion toys.  A lot of people were carrying huge stuffed toys that they have won from the games.  I wanted one so badly.  In order to avail of any rides and games you have to buy a card where your money would be converted into credits to be used in the games.

We have spent like almost AED100.00 just to win one freakin' stuffed toy.  Maybe we were unlucky that time.  At least, we had fun playing it.  We even get to ride bump cars one person free!

By 9 pm there was a fireworks display.  My brother and I was so elated.  For somebody who hails from the city in the Philippines where fireworks are banned, it was already something for us.

We were not able to full roam the area.  It was getting colder and our feet were already tired from walking.  We didn't even get the chance to buy more food from European stalls.  Such a shame.

It was a fun night of discovering cultures and exotic food.  Losing on games but having a good laugh.  We went home without the most coveted stuffed toys but we promised to be back in the hope of finally winning one.


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