Global Village, the world’s leading multicultural Festival Park and the region’s first family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment, closed the gates on its biggest ever season on 13th April 2019.
Season 23 welcomed a record-breaking number of more than 7 million guests over 166 days of operation, a jump of more than 16 percent over the previous season.
Global Village closed Season 23 completing more than AED 3 billion worth of business transactions, after hosting more than 3,500 outlets showcasing cultures of 78 countries, all catered to with a combined staff of more than 10,000 partners and employees from 95 nationalities.
With Season 23, Global Village achieved quantitative increases in all categories of evaluation, with the largest number of outlets and offerings in shopping, entertainment and dining. It hosted the biggest festivals, concerts, shows and events, games and activations in its history.
Even as it went big, it improved its Guest Happiness Index score to 9.1/10, up from the 9.0/10 of the previous season, which is testament to the qualitative improvements that Global Village has achieved.
The significant increase in the number of guests was greeted with superior infrastructure – increased parking spaces, new flat crossovers replacing the bridges, expanded multi-use walkways, new green spaces and additional seating areas. The flow of guest arrivals, internal traffic and departures was smooth with no congestions during the entire season.
Bader Anwahi, Chief Executive Officer of Global Village, said: “We are proud to deliver another superlative performance with Season 23. We continue to be the number one family, culture and entertainment destination in the UAE, and we are proud to be the reason for the smiles of more than 7 million guests who visited us. Happiness of our guests is our utmost priority and we are delighted to have scored 9.1 over 10 in our Guests Happiness Index, despite the 16% increase in our guest numbers this season.”
Anwahi added: “The success of Season 23 is a significant milestone in the evolution of Global Village. We are honoured to lead the entertainment industry in the UAE and are now well positioned to take our place among the world’s leading entertainment destinations.
Global Village has now become a permanent fixture in the itineraries of tourists that visit the region from far and wide, as positive awareness and commentary about our guest experiences have spread worldwide via social and media channels. We take the success of Season 23 to be our anchor point as we continue to deliver more great seasons to millions of our guests.”
A series of firsts
Global Village became the world’s first entertainment destination to achieve the 5-star grading upon completing the prestigious best practice Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit conducted by the British Safety Council. This demonstrates its commitment towards the continual improvement of its Health and Safety management systems and associated arrangements.
For Season 23, Global Village brought in a series of innovations for the first time. It hosted the world’s first multi-cultural floating market, bringing popular cuisine through 38 outlets from boats, bank-side kiosks, and Tuk-Tuks.
Season 23 brought in a brand-new Carnaval funfair experience with more than 30 exhilarating rides, 30 skill games and 100+ Arcade games. Guests also enjoyed the brand new ‘Circus Circus’ show, which was hosted throughout the season at the new Circus tent in the Carnaval and showcased the best classical circus shows and performances from around the world in a unique atmosphere.
Landmark moments of Season 23
Global Village broke another record after hosting more than 430,000 guests during its celebrations of 47th UAE National Day, that took place from 30th November to 3rd December 2018. The destination was the favourite choice of people in UAE to celebrate the special occasion with many interactive and unique festivities that spread happiness across the park.
In March 2019, more than 4,500 athletes attended the closing ceremony of the Host Town Programme for the Special Olympics at Global Village, hosting the Special Olympics torch, with an agenda full of fun and interactive activities.
Global Village continued to be one of the UAE’s favourite concert destinations with 24 concerts taking place on Main Stage in Season 23. Some of the biggest International superstars who performed included Jason Derulo, Jay Sean, Elissa, Miami Band, Majid Al Mohandis, Mohammed Hamaki, Samira Said, Neha Kakkar & Ankit Tiwary, Yara, Balqees Fathi, Shireen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Badshah & Raftaar, Mohammed Mounir and Rabeh Saqer.
Shopping at new pavilions and experiencing new cultures
Cultures of more than 78 countries through 27 pavilions with distinctive facades, showcased the world’s most beautiful monuments and civilizations. New cultural experience zones at pavilion entrances highlighted the most important features of the various countries to enrich the visitors’ cultural experience.
The pavilions hosted more than 3,500 retail outlets in total that gave an unprecedented choice and range of products to shoppers and was one of the key reasons for increased and repeat guest visits this season.
Ever increasing dining options
A highlight of the season was the immense choice of food and beverage options from 24 restaurants and cafes and more than 140 F&B kiosks spread across the park. New cuisines that guests familiarised themselves with included those from Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Italy, Afghanistan, China and the popular Emirati cuisine. Season 23 provided the best international street food experience in the region with cuisines from the Far East to the Middle East, from Asia to Europe and Africa and Americas.
Unique international meals and flavours included nine new cuisines from Mexico, China, the Gulf and Cuba. The park offered its widest ever range of street food, snacks, sweets and beverages, some of which were found only at Global Village within the region.