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Russian pavilion makes debut at massive Dubai market

The Russian section, which opened earlier this month, is situated near the multicultural market’s American and Turkish areas

Rajia Aboulkheir

Published: Updated:

Fans of Russian heritage and culture living in Dubai now have a dedicated pavilion in Global Village, the bustling Gulf trade hub’s massive outdoor bazaar.

Traders at the dozen or-so booths in the Russian section selling traditional outfits, food and toys - including the well-known wooden “Matryoshka” doll sets - say that the pavilion helps steer perceptions of the world’s largest country away from “Putin and politics.”

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Due to sweltering summer temperatures in the emirate, Global Village is only open in the cooler months of the year.

The Russian section, which opened earlier this month, is situated near the multicultural market’s American and Turkish areas.

Juliya, a saleswoman who hails from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, said that she hopes to set the market buzzing with her multiple types of Russian honey.

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“We know that honey is very popular in the Arab region,” she said.

In the Middle East, honey is a valued commodity renowned for its medicinal and nutritional benefits.

Juliya said she hoped to “understand the Arab market” before “starting to make profits.”

Meanwhile, another trader of Russian goods at the newly-created pavilion said that the response from customers had so far been very “positive.”

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She added that she is still waiting for “cargo from Russia with more toys and figurines.”

Dubai is a popular tourist destination for visitors from Russia and many of the former Soviet republics.

However, over the past year, a weak ruble and slowing economy triggered by Western sanctions have led to a sharp drop in Russian holidaymakers.

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