Global Village

1st February 2019

On Friday evening I arrived in Dubai for a thirty-six hour stopover on the way home from a two week business trip in Asia. It would have been sensible to go directly to bed after dinner, given that I'd been on the go for something like sixteen hours, but rather than do that I set out on a mission to ride a family roller coaster that I'd missed by a few days on my last visit to the United Arab Emirates.

It was just after 10:00pm when I took the dedicated Global Village exit from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and set about the task of finding somewhere to park. This proved remarkably difficult despite the time of night; the site has an incredible 18300 spaces, yet it still took me almost fifteen minutes of driving in circles before I found a vacant one. The spot that I claimed was at the far end of the P5 lot, leaving me with a walk of around one and a half kilometres to get to the amusement ride area via the Gate of the World entrance. On the plus side, the chance to stretch my legs after spending much of the day on a plane was very welcome.

Mumbai Xpress

I loaded up a smart card with fifteen credits for Mumbai Xpress (#2574), the tenth worldwide installation of the "three loop" SBF Compact Spinning Coaster, and my seventh. The ride was standard fare, though the soundtrack was unique; a recorded ten second countdown began after restraints had been checked, and the cars started moving to the accompaniment of the main theme from Star Wars. After about ten seconds it faded out and was replaced by the words "Welcome to Mumbai Xpress" distorted using the exaggerated reverb effect heard at fairgrounds all over the world. There wasn't a lot of spinning, but despite that I felt more than a little woozy due to fatigue, and as such I wasn't sorry when my four lap cycle came to an end.

I'd planned to make a rapid exit, but decided on the spur of the moment to buy another twenty-five credits for a lap on London Loop. The ride was a "Rebound" model that was pleasantly forceful, in sharp contrast to the flaccid version I rode in December at VinWonders Phú Quốc, and as such it made for a very fine end to the evening.