Shop your way around the world…
All winter I’ve been gazing longingly at the bright lights of Global Village wondering what interior delights might be hiding inside, so off I set one Thursday afternoon determined to uncover its secrets.
I parked in P6 at 4.15pm feeling smug about getting a spot right by the gate. Unfortunately, the gate in question was number 5 which I soon discovered is for staff entry only. Apparently P4 is the best one for the main gate although there is a free shuttle which will take you to and from all of the car parks.
Finally in the right place, I paid my 15 dirhams entry and was immediately greeted by the… er… remarkable sight of a London bus emerging from Big Ben with the leaning Tower of Pisa next door.
Slightly disorientated, but undeterred, I turned right in to Turkey. My favourite item here was spotted, somewhat unexpectedly, on a women’s clothing stall called Miss Pure. These glass terrariums filled with cacti and succulents appeal to me both because they are lovely to look at and because only plants capable of surviving serious neglect live for long in my home.
A quick trip in to Yemen lead to the discovery of these beautiful Bedouin style necklaces. I say ‘style’ because I can’t say how authentic they are, but mounted and framed they would add a fabulous ethnic touch to your walls (with the bonus of being wearable should you ever want to add a fabulous ethnic touch to yourself)!
Happily, the authenticity of these intricately patterned rugs in Morocco was guaranteed given that they were being weaved in front of me by a lady who immediately volunteered that they were half the marked price.
I was told the same thing in an Aladdin’s-cave-like furniture shop next door which sells everything from bone inlaid furniture and metallic pouffes, to glass bottles and brightly coloured tagines. I didn’t get involved in haggling but if the vendors were offering 50% off without me even asking, that gives a sense of how inflated the ticket prices are.
Africa was my favourite region with dancers on the door and the Bob Marley playing inside. Animal carvings and pretty baskets feature heavily along with these awesome, if potentially impossible to get out of, wooden seats.
In Italy I was charmed to find a stall selling little olive and lemon trees starting at around 100dhs…
… And I found these gorgeous cotton throws in Germany which, in true Global Village style, are actually made in Turkey. I really regret not buying a few as they would make perfect light weight beach towels and lovely gifts.
I finished up in India which is definitely your place for colourful embroidered and sequined cushions. There was also a stall selling these folding hide and leather chairs hand made in Rajasthan, including some in the iconic butterfly design.
While I’m not sure that Global Village entirely reflects the artisanal best of every nation, it certainly offers a unique shopping experience. There are hidden gems to be found so go wearing your comfiest shoes and prepare to haggle hard!
Featured image via Facebook