What an amazing couple of days it has been!
I, IK Nwosu, have been on an exciting trip for BellaNaija to Dubai courtesy of Emirates Airlines.
The flight to Dubai was for 6.35PM and the team had agreed to meet at the airport by 3PM. I had planned everything (to the letter and the number) the night before and early Tuesday morning. All was set for me to be at the Airport even before the stipulated time, then the car I was in broke down. As in, broke down flat. We spent over an hour trying to fix it, to no avail. I had to leave and take another taxi about 20 minutes to the deadline.
Long story short, we got to the airport 4 minutes past the deadline – 3PM. Although I never wanted that, I understood that, expectation is not always the same as reality.
I checked in and later met the group from different media houses in Nigeria. We took a couple of pictures and proceeded to the Emirates Airline First & Business Class lounge.
What I had in the lounge.
We flew in the Business Class Cabin of the aircraft en route Dubai International Airport and the service was beyond exceptional!
I saw a movie, I.T, Played Battleship, and listened to an audio book – Leadership: Dubai Style by Dr. Tommy Weir. I listened to about 35 percent of the book before we landed.
It revealed the Leadership qualities that got Dubai to where it is now.
We departed Lagos at 6.35PM (Tuesday). We landed in Dubai approximately 7 hours later. That was 4:47AM (Wednesday) Dubai Time and 1:47AM Nigerian Time (Wednesday). We were received by Ebrahim, a Tanzanian. Ebrahim works with Arabian Adventures. Arabian Adventures is a tour company in charge of the trip.
We got through immigration without stress – a matter of minutes. We proceeded to get our luggage.
That was when I almost fell in the train because I was pressing phone. The train was ready to move and I didn’t know. I was still trying to process the information (that we should hold on to something) and taking action, when the train started moving. Thanks to the days of the popular Molue in Lagos, I quickly held on to the pole in front of me.
We got our luggage and proceeded to the driveway where the Emirate Chauffeur Drive Service Team was waiting for us. Without stress we were en route The Address Hotel, Dubai Mall.
We arrived at the hotel some minutes before 6AM. We checked in within minutes. The Address Hotel upgraded our reservation from a Deluxe Room to a One Bedroom Apartment… just because they love Nigerians.
After putting other things in place, I slept for about an hour and proceeded to take breakfast. The Hotel was having a buffet, but I was too full to eat as much as I will normally do, so I had something light.LOL
But take a look at the view from 6.35AM first.
I went to The Dubai Mall to get my Sim Card sorted. This was about 12PM (9AM Nigerian Time). After sorting it out, I came back to rest. All these while we were using the rocket speed WIFI of The Address Hotel, Dubai Mall.
With the equivalent of N6,500, you can get Non-stop chatting, non-stop social media, and 70 minutes of international call on a free du Sim Card.
I love how Dubai has perfected the art and science of Tourist attraction. One can basically come to Dubai alone, buy Tourist packages from the airport, and have a great time with other Holidaymakers. It’s absolutely brilliant!
I must commend The Address Hotel, Dubai Mall for the quality of their customer service and their interracial staff base. This is so in almost every company in Dubai. With over 170 Nationalities represented, about 84% of the population are not Emiratis.
We had a reservation at Sea Fu Restaurant in Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach. Thanks to Noor from Arabian Adventures for driving us down.
We had great food, witty conversations, with awesome background music and view. I had a “head-expanding” moment when I introduced myself as the representative of BellaNaija, and Sandy and Andre from Emirates smiled and said “The Famous BellaNaija”.
We talked about why Nigerians come to Dubai: for commerce, tourism, destination weddings, and overall, to have a good time. We also discussed internet penetration in Nigeria, and the affordability of internet services.
Andre and Sandy talked about the ‘heavy’ traffic on their way down. I later discovered that we took the same route and I wondered if what we experienced was what they called heavy traffic.
Long story short. The traffic they experienced was the same as what you’ll experience by 6.30PM on Tuesday in Lagos or Port Harcourt and tell yourself “Wow, the road is free today o”.
Dubai is a city that is never still, at every point in time, there is a new Mall, Hotel, Studio, Opera, train station, or bridge being opened.
In all, it was a great time at Four Seasons Resort. Isabel (Four Seasons Resort) presented each of us with a beautiful gift.
We drove back to the hotel and I met this view; The Goodnight view.
This is just the beginning. Star Actress Mercy Aigbe-Gentry will be joining us on Day 2!
Our activity for the day started at 9AM. Our tour guide from Arabian Adventures for Day 2 was Mauro.
We took breakfast at the Restaurant and proceeded to begin the day! Because I was too full, I had fruits. We had not spent up to 2 days and I already felt like I had gained up to 2kg. I don’t know if you have heard or noticed, apart from the great sights and recreational facilities, Dubai is also known for good food!
Mercy Aigbe-Gentry had just landed in Dubai a few hours before breakfast, but she was able to join us for breakfast. We had a swell time, while discussing the beauty of the city.
Mauro, an Italian, was taking us to the area known as the Old Dubai where the Gold Souk and Spicy Souk were located. While on the bus, Mauro narrated intelligently, the Unification of the Emirates, the income sources for UAE, and some of the plans.
Six Emirates had in 1971, signed an agreement to run a Federational Monarchy type of government. The President will be from Abu Dhabi – the area where over 90% of the oil in the UAE is located; and Vice President and Prime Minister, coming from Dubai. Dubai is the hub of Trade, Commerce, and Investment.
The other Emirates are Ajman, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain.
Fujairah joined the Emirates in 1972, just few months after the Unification.
Did you know that about 5 million barrels of crude oil are extracted and sold every day from the Emirates? Coupled with the huge investments and trade going in Dubai, the Emirates gets lots of cash inflow in millions of dollars on a daily basis.
The heads of the other Emirates, alongside the President and Vice President make up the Supreme Council which, in the organogram, comes before the President. The other Emirates are Sharja, Fujairah, Rasal Keman, Ashman, and Umaque.
Although the president’s word is law, there is a Sharia Council that ensures that every activity of the Emirates is in line with the dictates of the Quran.
There are over 200 Islands in Abu Dhabi, but only 7 of them have been fully developed at the moment.
We proceeded to the Jumeirah Mosque – the central mosque in Dubai. It was a beauty to behold.
The Tour of The Jumeirah Beach also called Burj Al Arab Beach.
From the Central Mosque we went on a boat ride to the Spicy Souk and Gold Souk. Souk means Market.
Look what we found at the Gold Souk – Gold Dresses and The World’s Heaviest Ring!
Our next stop was Palm Jumeirah. The famous Palm-Shaped Real Estate in Dubai. Before touring the Palm Jumeirah, we had lunch at Breeze Restaurant, owned by Nakheel, the Developer for Palm Jumeirah.
Look what we found on the way!
At the Breeze Restaurant.
At Nakheel Office
We took a boat ride to Atlantis, The Palm – one of the most luxurious Resorts in the world. The facility houses a beach club, waterpark for kids, dolphin and sea lion bay, underwater aquarium (with about 65,000 fishes who have their own private chef!), underwater restaurant and bar, an underwater suite, a Presidential suite, Grand Atlantis Suite and the Royal Bridge Suite which costs $27,000 per night!
The Royal Bridge Suite is at the topmost part of the resort, and it’s the only place you can get a good view of the entire Palm Jumeirah, and a good view of the Arabian Gulf. The 924 square metre Suite offers a private elevator and team of butlers and chef, a 16-seat dining table, and 3 sumptuous bedrooms.
In the lobby of Atlantis is a sculpture made from 8,000 pieces of hand blow glass. It was designed by Dale Chihuly and named after him.
We also visited the ShuiQi Spa, that serves Gentlemen’s Tonic and Bastien Gonzalez Manicure & Pedicure.
We took drinks at Nobus and proceeded to YUAN for dinner.
The trip isn’t over! I still have three exciting days to share with you.
Look out for my next post on our visit to Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the recently opened IMG Worlds of Adventure, and a fabulous boat cruise!