Visitor numbers through the glamourous gates of this Dubailand destination were up 16% to more than seven million compared with the previous operating session. Not bad for a vintage attraction that completed its 23rd season on April 13.
But the world’s leading multicultural festival park has helped itself to the huge numbers arguably by refreshing its package, not least by improving and expanding infrastructure to enrich guest experiences.
That seven million figure is all the more impressive when you consider the operating season for the region’s “first family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment” was just 166 days.
In that time more than AED3 billion worth of business transactions were completed as Global Village hosted more than 3,500 outlets showcasing the cultures of 78 countries, all catered to with a combined staff of more than 10,000 partners and employees from 95 nationalities.
Anticipation of rising numbers meant visitors were greeted with increased parking spaces, new flat crossovers replacing the bridges, expanded multi-use walkways, new green spaces and additional seating areas.
Bader Anwahi, Chief Executive Officer of Global Village, for one is pleased with the results.
“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 seven million guests who visited us,” he says.
“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.”
“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,” says the CEO.
Among a series of firsts for the park this year was Global Village becoming the world’s first entertainment destination to achieve a five-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 – something important to all who work and visit the site, which is located beside the E311 motorway.
Other firsts included its dancing fountains with light and sound shows on the largest underwater screen; the all new ‘Wheel of the World’ of 60m height, with an enormous 50-metre LED screen and an interactive Kids’ Theatre that hosted a variety of events and workshops.
Also proving popular were the Super Loop stunt show - a full-scale stunt show featuring daring performances by more than 30 professional stunt performers - the ‘Live our Heritage’ festival, featuring aspects of Emirati culture and craftsmanship hosted by Dubai Culture, plus eight new flat bridges that replicated the most famous architectural icons in the world
Global Village broke another record when it hosted more than 430,000 guests during its 47th UAE National Day celebrations, held from November 30 to December 3.
And last month more than 4,500 athletes attended the closing ceremony of the Host Town Programme for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 at Global Village, including a visit from the Special Olympics torch.
These included sets from international stars such as Jason Derulo, Jay Sean, Elissa, 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.
Certainly it raises the bar rather high for the next season, beginning autumn 2019.
“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,” adds CEO Mr Anwahi.
CULTURES of more than 78 countries were represented through 27 pavilions this past season with new cultural experience zones at pavilion entrances highlighting important features of the various countries.
PAVILIONS hosted more than 3,500 retail outlets to give an “unprecedented choice and range of products”, cited as one of the key reasons for increased and repeat guest visits.
FOOD and beverage options included 24 restaurants and cafes and more than 140 F&B kiosks spread across the park with new options embracing Uzbekistan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Cuba and popular Emirati cuisine among others.
TO see what Global Village has coming up visit www.globalvillage.ae
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