The special things Global Village is putting in place for the elderly and those with special needs, make the theme park a truly “Ultimate Family Destination”.
Nothing can beat the very special way Global Village, Dubai’s leading family entertainment and cultural destination, is treating the elderly and special needs visitors to the theme park. It is splendidly warm and unique, living up to its slogan ‘The Ultimate Family Destination’ in this 18th edition.
From the time they arrive at the parking lot that can host about 17,000 cars in front of the Global Village, the special treats start coming their way. Parking lots are available at Dh50 per parking at the VIP enclosure, but families with special needs and elderly people can park their cars free of charge.
Ahmad Hussain bin Essa, Executive Director of Operations at Global Village, said that their families can bring them inside hassle-free. “We want to ensure that everybody who visits Global Village has a fantastic time. We have made the park accessible, free of charge, for anybody who is physically challenged along with their aid. There is also the added flat bridge for wheelchairs to cross over from one side of the pavilions to the other. We have also decided to keep ready 30 wheelchairs and they will be available on request, free of cost. The ease of access around Global Village this season will make it a more relaxed and enjoyable experience and we have facilitated this by having handicapped parking closer to the gates. The inclusion of toilets that are especially suited for the physically challenged will also make the experience better and easier.”
Indian Momin Ali, who has been in the emirate for 12 years, said that he takes along his 88-year-old mother every time his family visits Global Village on weekends because her basic needs are provided to her for free. “There are numerous wheelchairs just waiting to be taken inside. I just walk in, take a wheel chair, and push her wheel chair wherever she wants to go.”
A similar reaction is expressed by Dana Hayek, 27, of the easy, convenient way to take her mom to Global Village, who is too excited to visit the theme park when they come on weekends.
Her Lebanese mother, Rana, always looks forward for the visit. “Awesome fun and entertainment, delicious Arabic cuisine, exceptional international shows and fabulous prices of goods at the various pavilions excite me to come again and again. At home, I am just lying down on my bed or sitting in my wheelchair waiting for someone to come and talk to me. Here, at Global Village, I can see lots of good things I miss in life since I started growing old and weak.”
Most of the elderly at her age may prefer to just stay at home and relax, but Rana has a different outlook. “When I was a teenager, I used to watch traditional shows and play traditional games with my friends and relatives. I miss these things as I grew older and older every year. But, Global Village brings me a different dimension of things in life that I see.”
Global Village is just like a special home to many disabled and their families.
Emirati Sarah Khamis, is thankful and full of appreciation for Global Village’s initiative of treating the elderly and those with special needs in a special way just like they are at their own home. Her sister, Hessa, a polio victim for 20 years and a wheelchair user, is always with the family when they come to Global Village. “Going to the toilet is not a burden to us anymore, as Global Village has dedicated toilets for people like my sister. We just push her wheelchair there, help her up and get inside the toilets. We do not have to queue up. It is just like we are in our home.”
The services tailor-made at the beck and call of the disabled visitors are aplenty. There are also dedicated restaurants for such visitors. Special needs kids and adults can have the best place to dine in at any of the six restaurants dedicated to them, half for male and the rest for female disabled.
Pakistani Nasr Mohammed said that he normally has problems with his 12-year-old son, Latif, with down syndrome. “It is difficult to handle him especially during meal time. But he enjoys the food at the dedicated restaurant for special needs visitors at Global Village. Perhaps, it is because it is not crowded, and from there, he can also watch what’s going on around him.”
The special things Global Village is putting in place for the elderly and those with special needs, make the theme park a truly “Ultimate Family Destination” in this year’s 148 days of fun, shopping and entertainment.