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Indian pavilion lines up activities at Global Village

The Indian Pavilion at Global Village has a busy schedule of activities planned for this year's Dubai Shopping Festival, a pavilion organiser said.

"Global Village has always been a great opportunity to showcase the rich and varied cultural heritage of India's 5,000 year-old civilisation," said Sunil Bhatia of E4 Entertainment, the pavilion's organisers. "Global Village 2005 will be special.

Not only has Global Village shifted to its new, larger location, its duration has been extended to 79 days. The pavilion space is larger, with more to offer, both in terms of shopping as well as entertainment."

The stage and enclosure set up to host the events are themselves pieces of art. There will be three entrances to the entertainment area, all replicas of gates at the famed Mysore Palace.

The pavilion's façade is a close rendition of the palace. The look of the stage is modelled after the Hoysala school of architecture. The enclosure can seat up to 1,500 people, giving it the ambience of a theatre.

Nearly 200 dancers, singers and artists are being brought to Dubai from India. The performers will get an international opportunity to showcase their talents, and the visitors will enjoy a chance to sample India's artistic heritage. These will include dances (such as bhangra) and music from several states of India, including Punjab, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Another crowd puller at the Indian pavilion will be Lavni, a folk opera, performed by travelking performers from the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Maharashtra has a lively tradition of song, dance, music and theatre.

The Indian film industry will also feature prominently at the pavilion. Song and dance performances linked to Hindi cinema will be a part of the entertainment, displaying the modern influences of contemporary Indian culture.

Every weekend, celebrities from the Bollywood film industry will perform. Theatre performances will also be hosted, showcasing India's literary achievements in drama and short plays.

All the performances will be enhanced by the state-of-the-art lighting and sound system specially purchased for the occasion.

New heritage-themed events to be launched

The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing will offer some new heritage-themed activities at next year's Dubai Shopping Festival, a festival official said.

"The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing [DTCM] is introducing new activities at the DSF, in line with the department's framework to provide visitors with a rich heritage and cultural experience," said Marwan Bin Byat, chairman of the DSF's organising committee for heritage activities.

The range of activities, which includes exhibitions, shows and heritage-related events, will take place in the Shindagha area. They include events at Shaikh Saeed's House, Shaikh Obaid Bin Thani House, and the Heritage and Diving Village, in addition to the Hatta Heritage Village, the Dubai Museum and the Al Ahmadiah School.

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