We’re not entirely sure how many people wander through the faux French village of Riverland on their way to ride Dubai Parks And Resorts’ roller coasters, and hope to stumble across an Irish pub. But our guess is that following a knuckle-whitening hour or two on the rides of the complex’s four theme parks, that number swells significantly.
Opening a second Irish Village anywhere in the city was always going to be a brave decision. The Garhoud original is a much-cherished, 20-year-old institution – few acts could be tougher to follow. But its Riverland sibling doesn’t feel like an attempt at a clone. It may have those distinctly Irish “IV” touches, an almost identical menu and familiar, smiley faces among the staff, but this is a different beast, catering to an entirely different crowd. Set across two floors, it’s bright, airy and polished, with two small terraces and views of the ever-changing entertainment on the river.
Theme parks may not be your bag, and the drive out might seem a bit daunting, but fans of the original will find a lot to appreciate about The IV 2.0.
Probably even more so after a morning in motiongate.
The bottom line One of Riverland’s strongest sells.