Jan 19, 2017
Like Singapore, Dubai has a distinctly cosmopolitan character. This is a city where you can actually experience some of the world’s most diverse cultures in one place, however you wish.
From London-style brunches to Russian cabaret acts, here are three interesting ways to experience global culture in Dubai.
A family vacation to Dubai will not be complete without a visit to Global Village, where carnival fun, shopping and entertainment come together in a huge festival park. For AED15 per entry, you get to experience traditions from different cultures, be entertained by international acts, and eat your way around the world.The sprawling leisure destination is only open during cool weather and this year, it opens from 1 November 2016 to 8 April 2017. Themed “A New World Every Day”, the 21st iteration of Global Village showcases perspectives from 75 countries in 36 pavilions. This means you can visit just about every country under the sun — from South Korea (located in the Far East pavilion) to Serbia (situated on the East Europe platform) in just one place. Apart from getting a taste of each country’s scenic sights and dynamic cultures, you can take home a bit of every place by buying international souvenirs from each section as well. The Global Village experience is also a wonderful way to introduce young children to the diverse cultures of the world. Adding to the educational experience are daily concerts and street shows that showcase the cultures and art forms of the world. These run in 20-minute segments and are held at either the main cultural stage or a Roman-style amphitheatre. On Fridays, enjoy a spectacular and colourful parade at 8.30pm; while on Thursdays and Fridays, you can catch fireworks at 9pm — all within the ticket charge.
If you’re looking for a gastronomic adventure, cosmopolitan Dubai is the place to eat your way around the world. It is home to some 16,000 food eateries, including international and homegrown chain restaurants, independent restaurants, cafeterias and coffee outlets. One of the city’s top dining institutions is Khan Murjan. Serving an eclectic mix of Moroccan, Lebanese and Iranian cuisine, this is where you can taste the rich flavours of Middle East whilst relishing in the exotic ambience of the Egyptian-themed Wafi City shopping mall. However, there is a whole lot more to eat in Dubai than traditional Middle Eastern fare. International celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa have set up outposts in Dubai, making it a world-class foodie capital. British chef and TV personality (of Hell’s Kitchen fame), Gordon Ramsay, has an outpost of his signature Bread Street Kitchen at five-star Atlantis hotel, which sits on the man-made island — The Palm. The best time to visit is on Friday afternoons for Bread Street Kitchen’s weekly family brunch affair – Brunch Confidential. It is a gourmand’s dream with a huge spread of modern British dishes, a make-your-own-dessert station and live London-style “busker” performances. Also located at the Atlantis hotel is Matsuhisa’s famous Japanese fine-dining temple, Nobu. Everything — from eggs benedict to blueberry and yuzu pancakes — spell culinary finesse and precision. But diners almost never leave without ordering his signature dish: the miso-marinated black cod. A meal here may be pricey, but the experience is well worth it.
A taste of Russia in the heart of Dubai? Yes. For a taste of opulent Russia, head to Tchaikovsky Restaurant and Night Club at the swanky Marina Byblos Hotel. Start the evening with a traditional Russian meal that includes dishes like borsch and selyodka pod shuboy (a layered herring salad). Expect a dollop of caviar too — a signature Russian touch. Here, it takes the form of a snack popular for Russian hunting expeditions — halved boiled eggs stuffed with avocado and cream cheese purée, dotted with red caviar. To complete the Russian experience, stay for the ballet shows and live dance performances at Tchaikovsky. A live band comes on at about 8pm and the cabaret act about an hour later.