Dubai Global Village
Area: Arabian Ranches, Dubai
From its humble beginnings in 1996 as a small site by the Creek where little kiosks sold products from different countries, Dubai Global Village has grown into a huge crowd-puller. Dubai Global Village is now the star attraction of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), an open-air extravaganza which attracted 4.5 million visitors in 2008.
Huge pavilions from around 40 countries are at the heart of Dubai Global Village, bringing together diverse world cultures selling native food, goods and handicrafts. There are some real treasures too, including fantastic cottons from China, nuts from Syria, honey from Yemen, carpets from Iran, textiles from India and furniture from Morocco.
The fairground rides help promote a distinctly carnival atmosphere, as does the broad spectrum of stalls and activities which include music, dance and theatre. Dubai Global Village is a must-see, but do be prepared for a fair amount of walking.