Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shopping at Global Village in Dubai

The Global Village is basically Dubai's answer to a World Expo and State Fair rolled into one. The grounds are in Dubailand, a sprawling entertainment complex that, when complete, will take up over 107 square miles.

Many countries from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia have large, permanent pavilions where vendors come for 4 months out of the year to sell their wares. A fair few of the pavilions are filled with junk, but many also have really nice items showing off their cultural heritage. The Global Village is really about shopping but there is also pretty good food and lots of performances of dance and music. And really good people watching.

I bought 5 of these hand carved and painted birds on sticks.
I loved these little cowgirls.
Even the fast food here is pretty decent. I had falafel sandwich and watermelon juice.
These grapes were inside the Yemeni Pavilion.
I wanted to buy half the lanterns in this shop. Alas, I didn't buy any because I am afraid to take them on the plane.
It's very festive and starts getting really crowded after 10pm.
Some countries are able to spend a lot of money on making spectacular entrances to their pavilions. I love these Assyrian winged bulls at the Iranian pavilion. I bought Iranian saffron.
This is Kanafa. This is a traditional dessert from Palestine. This is a special pastry fried with cheese. I love this dessert, we had it when we went to Palestine in 1987 and I remember it well. My sister is going to make some this week for us.
They cook it up on these giant pans.
In the Yemeni pavilion, I bought some jewelry from these seriously funny and friendly guys that arranged a traditional scarf on Trevor. I think he looks good. Here he is with my nephew Zayd who is wearing a Palestinian head scarf.
Zayd is helping me get a good deal.
I ended up with lots and lots of goodies. Not only did I buy Yemeni jewelry and Kenyan bird carvings, I also bought some Kenyan salad tongs, Indian scarves, Indian pillow covers, Palestinian olive oil soap, Palestinian Zaatar spice, a ring, a bracelet, Moroccan tea glasses, and Iranian saffron.
A good day!


  1. I would be so broke if I were with you! So many great things to buy! I think Trevor looks right at home in the head scarf -- I hope he bought one.

  2. ohmygosh, I love kanafa....want some now...

  3. Looking at these pictures I am remembering my childhood in Kuwait. Love Kanafa!

  4. I have a recipe for Kanafa that I am going to try when we get home!