Saturday, December 19, 2009

Around D World in 4 Hours : Dubai Global Village

with winter in dubai, comes the cool breeze and pakistani workers lepak in the middle of the road divider. winter also marks the opening of a big huge year-long-awaited shopping extravaganza ala pesta pulau pinang - the dubai global village.

long awaited, as it only opens from dec to feb each year. it's a fantastic idea that combines cultures, people, food and unique items from so many countries - from rwanda to indonesia, morroco to egypt. this posting will be dominated by pictures, so if you wanna read more on what dubai global village entails, read my first experience here.

ok kalo malas nak click link posting lama tu, basically i wrote in my old posting what dubai global village is essentially about -

"imagine all the souvenir bazaars you could ever look for every time you travel to these countries? now imagine all those bazaars put in one single place. that's Dubai Global Village."

below are shots of my sisters in front of many, many country pavilions. walking into each one offers unique sights of their clothings, food item and many more. some even have culture shows at the side.

clockwise from far left : kuwait, lebanon, egypt, yemen, palestine, syria and philippines.

if you're a human being secretly wishing you're a bee, or err...if you simply like honey - then the yemen pavilion is the place to be. yemen is known as the land of honey, where the best ones in the world are produced. read about my previous honey experience at the dubai global village here.

at the yemen pavilion : spices, sweet yemeni honey and the traditional jambiya, weapon-turned-acessories

for interesting ornaments that range from cat mummy to the sphinx, egypt has it all. you can even get gorgeous quranic wall-frame, as well as colorful jubah. we also bought this wonderfully yummy assortment of almonds, hazelnuts and all kinds of nuts coated in honey and sesame-seed - deliciously sweet!

at the egypt pavilion : sweet kacang-kacang, sand art, little pyramid and sphinx ornaments and quranic ayat on hard frames

personally i love the african pavilion. they have the most interesting display of items on sale, like a wooden bowl with carved animals around it, and spoons with handles in the shape of giraffe or zebra.

they have funny-carved chairs in the shape of human head for the backrest, that when you put them side by side, they look like they're having a conversation. creepy. but eye-catching.

clockwise from far left : turkey, thailand, africa, nepal, senegal, sudan and rwanda

syida wanted to look for turkish delights, sweets that look like marshmallows with pistachio bits inside. it tastes as yummy as it looks, squishy and chewy.

at the turkey pavilion : the lights, turkish baked potatoes, and syida and azi picking up some turkish delights

we were also looking at the awesome colorful wall and table lights and vowed that before we return to malaysia for good, we're definitely gonna get one of those ceiling turkish lights for our malaysia home. they're gorgeous! and surely a great conversation opener - "well you might think that we got this on our trip to turkey but..."

pashmina shopping

bargaining is a must when at dubai global village because something that costs RM250 can go down to RM150 if you play your cards right.

at the indonesia pavilion

indonesia pavilion was a quiet one, with only one stall open inside but has one of the most craved food item for mr. khairul - the indon bakso.

he ordered one, and had it right there and then at the tables and chairs inside the pavilion. we spoke malay with the salesperson, and it was a nice touch to our international experience here at the dubai global village.

i myself left with a handfull of keropok ikan, keropok udang, keropok palembang and sweet indofood kicap. yah, i'm a keropok freak!

clockwise from far left : bahrain, pakistan, vietnam, morocco, china and jordan

so now do you understand why going to dubai global village is like going around the world in mere hours? mr. khairul and i took syida and azi practically to no less than 20 countries! haha.

unfortunately, while countries like yemen and egypt have amazing items on sale that speaks volume of their countries' culture and identity, our very own malaysian pavilion has very little uniqueness to offer.

so sad yet true. i mean, we can have something as simple as tikar mengkuang or tudung saji on sale. (i wanted to say batik first, but then we might have to fight for the right to sell with the indons hihi) or we could have sold keropok lekor. or durian! throngs of people would be walking in, hypnotized by the strong pungent smell of the king of fruit that beckons them!

hey, the twin towers are in dubai!

i mean, who is the person in charge of this 'malaysia' pavilion, really? can't they rake in a couple of companies or persons from malaysia to sell our unique items to the dubains and the expats who come here?

what's more sad - we shared the pavilion with singapore! with malay, chinese, indian, iban, kadazan, portugese and baba nyonya cultures that we have, we certainly have A LOT of unique items to offer, amazing cultures to show and wonderful food to be savored - we can have pavilions twice the size of saudi's just to put our stuff. and yet, and yet...

when i walk in, i ask myself as a foreign person - "so, this is malaysia. hmm. what are they selling? is this what malaysia is all about?" and what did i see is on sale? pajamas. pashminas that looked like the one in the pakistan pavilion. the only thing malaysian was this stall that was doing a cooking demo - selling cookery that are "made in malaysia". tu je. sedih.

nanti tourists and local pun ingat, "ini ke malaysia? boringnye. jom blah gi pavilion lain."

the boys were simply angels -because they slept the whole way through, especially khaleef who slept in the car on the way, and woke up only when we're at the car park about to leave! as far as he knew, he had never been to dubai global village that day!

if you notice the picture above, azi was posing in front of rows of 'trailers' that were actually toilets. they were fairly clean and well-kept, and if you want an extra sanitized toilet, you can go to the paid-toilet - for RM5 per-entry.

wow. golden toilet bowl?

me, azi & syida @ the mock eiffel tower

owh, this is a special picture dedicated to abah. hihi. abah just came back from a european tour with umi - visiting london and switzerland among others, as well as paris.

well, kita pun gi paris ari tu, abah. haha. ni gamba kitorang kat eiffel tower. enjoy! and thanks to mr. khairul for bringing my sisters around the world - in 4 hours!

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