Global Village is like a World's Fair that is located in the south of the city. It's a huge expanse of land on which are housed a number of pavilions themed to many different countries around the world. It was originally planned as part of the failed Dubailand project but has grown into an absolute monster now with over 5 million visitors each year in it's run of only a few months. As an indication of it's scale there are more than 17,000 parking spaces outside the site.
A slightly fat Big Ben met us at the entrance.
The pavilions are stunning considering they're only temporary. At the end of each season they're knocked down.
The pavilions mostly contain shops and stalls selling products from each country.
Some of the stands also had musicians playing. The African in particular could be heard from quite some distance away.
The reason for coming here lay at rear of the park, a funfair containing a number of rides from UK showman Mellor's.
Fantasy Island is the name given to the amusement part of the complex. The fair used to be run by local boys Freij Entertainment but they lost their right to run the rides following a fatal accident with their big wheel a few years ago.
First up was Aviator, a small kids suspended coaster. We were met by a ladyboy who figured out we were part of the European Coaster Club despite us having nothing on us to indicate that. I guess the club, who had visited earlier and were now on their way home, had left an impression in turning up en masse.
The second coaster was a wacky worm, with a better than normal light show.
The final coaster is the powered mine train that used to reside at American Adventure. I'd ridden this one before when it was touring the UK. People were commenting on how much faster this ride got on each lap. I recall it being run like this when I rode it; good stuff.
The fair was impressive and whilst I didn't ride much (I didn't have to) a lot of the locals were enjoying themselves.
As well as the pavilions there are also a number of shows. We missed the stunt shows but did catch a number of music revues including a rather cool Matrix themed one.
I bet the American pavilion was the most photographed due to the gratuitous crotch shot.
After walking around for a while we decided to grab some dinner and had a lovely indian meal from one of the many restaurants. Once again we were called out as being coaster people, so I guess some of the club had also eaten here. The food came out quick but was delicious.
Global Village was great and was still enjoyable despite the vast crowds here, in fact it was nice to see crowds given the lack of them earlier in the day. According to some this place makes as much revenue as Disney and puts it way above the other parks in the country. The only thing counting against it is it's limited run with it only open for a few months each year.