Part 1: Journey In The East: Dubai

BY Diliora Iloanusi||

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Dubai, located in the eastern regions of the world. Surrounded by an endless sea of sand it is in the middle of a dessert. However, of the many cities I’ve been to in my short life so far it is by far one of the most impressive. People tend to say Dubai is a ‘fake’ city or it’s ‘artificial’. In response, I ask them, have you ever seen a place where the ground suddenly grows building and furniture for human consumption or use? Has there ever been a place where roads and cars appeared out of thin air? No to both, the only thing Dubai is lacking is history. They didn’t have to put in the long arduous years to reach where they are now and I think everyone’s just a bit jealous.

It offers one the most luxurious living standards to its citizens and tourists alike. It is so safe a city one can leave their keys in the car and go shopping. Your car will be there when you return. Speaking (or typing as it were) of cars everywhere you go ‘new’ is their agenda. You will rarely see a city so packed with the latest car models. Never forget the ever-rising skyscrapers. There’s practically a forest of them.  Also, they love to suffix their city with ‘-est’. Tallest building. Biggest Museum. Newest City. Some even call it ‘Las Vegas on steroids’. I have to agree.  If what I’ve heard and seen are to be believed it has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

I have to praise the Sheiks on their work in the country they turned it from a desert to a global oasis! People travel the world over to visit Dubai. As new as the country is its people are old and well versed in hospitality; they were unbelievably hospitable to me. The hotel, Baihty Hotel Apartments, is by far the most customer-friendly I’ve ever been to; reminding you in the morning that you did pay for breakfast and that it would soon finish.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Burj Al Arab too. Magnificent would be the least useful word in describing the sheer opulence this architectural marvel offers to its guests. The first thing you notice when you step in is the reception, believe me when I say some of the largest MNC’s cannot afford to have receptions this good. It is massive, well presented, it’s actually better than some other hotel rooms I’ve slept in (Ibis for one!). The staffs were wonderful people and very happy to help you take a photo, because well, what else do you do when you see a toy soldiers displayed on a fountain and a Christmas tree taller than some houses?

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Asking for the27th floor gave a very warm surprise. “Upstairs at the GOLDEN elevators, sir.” she said. We went up so fast the pressure changed in the lift! The wedding anniversary that brought me here was held at the ‘Al Falak Ballroom’. It was very nice, not as opulent as I would expect from the Burj but it was very nice. What I wasn’t seeing was just how great a ballroom it was. After an inquiry on the price of the room I found out that you just rented the room and all the catering (very, very good food and drinks) came with it. In a sense you were only charged per guest, they, The Burjees, took care of the rest.

Leaving was just as wonderful as coming, apart from being told I look like a Jackson 5 by some ladies, we were asked to wait for our taxi to take us home. For the life of me I cannot remember if it was a Rolls Royce or not but being the most expensive taxi I’ve been in,  it sure felt like one.

Oh and by the way, just in case you wanted to stay a night, it comes to about $4000 a night (Christmas season price)

Now the story is over, the pressing question is; how did a city, so devoid of all this a mere 20+ years ago become a global hotspot? Money for one, but that can’t be all, not nearly…

TO BE CONTINUED…

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