Health and Safety Vision: Global Village
In conversation with Sutharson Sathaiah, Senior Manager HSE & Risk at Global Village.
Can you tell us how Global Village met the challenge of COVID-19?
Combating the challenges of COVID-19 was a fundamental and central part of our preparations before the reopening. The events that unfolded this year were unprecedented, requiring a massive collective effort from an ecosystem of internal and external partners. First, we have worked alongside organizations at the local and international levels, engaging in dialogue at every available opportunity with industry experts and other authorities. These included the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the British Safety Council and, of course, our own government departments. In addition, we have partnered with SHEILDme, one of the leading producers and suppliers of disinfection products and use their 100% natural products to disinfect our park.
At the end of Season 24, we comprehensively assessed all areas of the park to ensure guest comfort and safety under “new normal” conditions. Our teams and partners have worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and to ensure that new normal policies and best practices have been successfully implemented in all areas of the park.
What HSE implementations have been introduced by Global Village?
The reopening of Global Village, as well as the success of our Silver Jubilee season, both hinged on the successful implementation of a multitude of new HSE practices and maintaining their effectiveness.
Digital transformation has played a key role in our response to COVID-19. We have implemented contactless payment solutions through the brand new Global Village app and website for online ticket purchase and parking payment, while the new GV Pay by noqodi electronic wallet enables payment contactless at all Global Village points of sale for customers who prefer to avoid using cash. .
Cleaning schedules have been significantly increased and disinfection protocols for all points of contact are in place. Masks and social distancing are mandatory, and guests are encouraged to use the more than 600 hand sanitizer stations that have been set up throughout Global Village on a regular basis. Staff in all restaurants and kiosks should wear gloves and change them regularly. And a heat shield has been put in place at all entry points for staff and guests.
We are an entertainment destination, which is why we have also given a lot of thought to how we have implemented the various precautionary measures. The teddy bears at the Kids Theater and the Falcons at the Arabian Square are used to provide social distancing in the sitting areas. Fun-themed masks have been handed out to children since the opening. A new street food area, Fiesta Street, has been set up to avoid overcrowding on Kiosk Street. Seats were placed in front of the main stage. Every effort has been made to ensure that every precautionary measure is designed to protect and enhance the experience of our customers.
Tell us what are the expectations for 2021?
First of all, our Silver Jubilee anniversary runs for a total of 25 weeks through April 18, 2021. Despite the challenges leading up to our October launch, the story so far has been a success. As such, we plan to continue to provide exceptional cultural experiences to our many guests between January and April. We have plenty of events and entertainment in store throughout this time, and we expect more guests as we continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of our HSE protocols.
Global Village has set a new benchmark for regional and international travel, tourism and leisure destinations in terms of cleaning and hygiene practices. We are already recognized for our safety record and have officially become the first theme park in the world to win the British Safety Council’s Sword of Honor for our high standards of safety management. In addition, we have also received the Dubai Assured stamp from Dubai Municipality, Dubai Economy and Dubai Tourism (DTCM) in light of our rigorous preparations for the opening.
We will undoubtedly build on the many improvements we have made to our customer experience over the months and years to come.
How will Expo 2020 Dubai boost Global Village?
We are very proud to have worked over the past few months to support the Expo teams and will continue to do so. Expo 2020 Dubai will attract many tourists to the country and we will undoubtedly welcome many through our doors. Global Village is delighted to have been able to support the ‘open for business’ message by showing how to successfully and safely operate a major leisure destination and we hope this will go a long way in supporting the nation’s efforts in line with the guidelines. strategic leadership of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai tourism strategy.
At the market level, what indicators are there to see an increase in the activity of Global Village?
From a Global Village perspective, the early success of Season 25, the positive response and welcome from the wider community, and the interest we see on a daily basis are all promising signs. Global Village has always attracted businesses from all over the world and has benefited from an extremely diverse clientele. With the travel and tourism industry in terms of visitors from outside the UAE also showing encouraging signs, we are very optimistic about the rest of the season and the success of our partners.
Do you think that by 2021 the UAE would be comfortable going out in droves to places like Global Village?
We are confident that outdoor destinations that are vigilant about safety measures will continue to attract customers. For our part, we will work alongside our many partners to ensure that we apply the highest possible HSE standards. By respecting this commitment, we will maintain the confidence of our partners and guests throughout the months to come.