Hello BNers,

Just 3 days in the City of Gold (Dubai) and we still haven’t gotten over the excitement and fun. Dubai is a city that will leave you in awe. Our 3-day trip met our expectations and beyond.

We are glad to share all the gist with you, and, of course, how else do we build the excitement but from the start.

It started at the airport; meeting the team Jennifer, Tomi, and Bukky George-Taylor and bonding went so well. After a few minutes, we were already gisting as though we had met prior to this. I’d say this bonding process made the trip so fun.

The boarding process was quick and we were ready at about 4:45 pm. We boarded at 6:15 pm and the flight to Dubai through Emirates was seamless with lots to eat and our favourite movies to watch.

We arrived in Dubai at 4 am and was lodged into The Address Downtown, a hotel with rooms that felt like heaven.

 

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It was just in time for breakfast and we were treated to a variety of yummy goodness. We caught some sleep for a couple of hours and in no time, we were ready to start the day

 

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Here’s a detailed breakdown of how 3 days gave us (Motunde & Tomilola) a good rush of excitement and lasting memories.

Day 1

The Shekih Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

Our first stop was the Sheikh Mohammed Centre of Cultural Understanding, an attraction for visitors who want to gain deeper insight into Dubai’s cultural heritage. Designed to promote Dubai’s customs and culture, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is in the city’s Al Fahidi Historical Quarter. The centre showcases Dubai’s traditional roots through a variety of activities.

Here, we were taught about language and dialect, marriages and relationships, and the general customs of the Emirati and in the Emirates. We also had a taste of the savoury meals Dubai has to offer.

 

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Meet Our Tutors – Seyma

Visiting Guests in Dubai

To wrap up, we went on a 10-minute road-trip to explore the beautiful city of Dubai courtesy #HeritageExpress.

Up Next: Desert Safari

We visited the Desert Safari and had a road-tour experience. The Desert Safari Dubai is a 6 Hour outdoor adventure trip in the desert of Dubai (UAE).

 

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The Desert Safari has a beautiful display of dunes and the sunset is a sight to see. On our trip, we learned about the 2nd most expensive hotel in Dubai (situated within the Desert) – The AL-MAHA, The Waha (A little pool within) which caters to the birds to keep them hydrated and the ‘Sodom’s Apple‘ (A poisonous shrub that can also serve medicinal purposes).

 

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Also, we couldn’t miss out on the herd of gazelles quietly grazing as we drove by.

 

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Next stop: The Falcon Show

We were treated to a traditional falconry demonstration which is a common show in desert safaris. This gave a glimpse into the rich history falcons have within the UAE region. We saw how the falconers train these majestic creatures to fly and swoop for lures. Once the falcon catches the lure in the sky, they are rewarded with their favorite snack, which is usually a quail. After the show, guests get great photo opportunities holding the falcon on the glove.

 

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Bedouin Village

The next stop for the day was the Bedouin village. Do you know that the ‘Bedouin’ comes from the Arabic word ‘badawi’, which means “desert dweller”? The Bedouin village consists of a population of nomadic Arabs who have historically inhabited the desert regions.

We got to see how they make their own coffee and bread. We had a chance to taste their camel milk before going on a camel ride. Here, we see Jennifer and Amaka trying out the camel milk.

Watch for a review of what the camel milk tastes like:

 

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Up next was the camel ride.

We got to enjoy a camel ride through the desert sands and we admired the breathtaking views and watched the beautiful sunset over the desert.

How else do you end an evening full of exciting activities? Dinner, good music, and dancing sounds just about right. That’s what we enjoyed. We had a nice piece of bread crust accompanied by their tasty lentil soup, and then there was a table of food set before us.

Of course, no wasn’t an option.

To wrap up the night, we stayed by the fire and were entertained by their traditional music and dance.

 

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Day 1 definitely set the tone for our entire stay. A full understanding of their culture at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, the desert safari, and an amazing experience in the Bedouin village.

Day 2

Site Inspection at the Address Beach Resort.

After a pleasant experience lodging at the Address Downtown Hotel, I was excited to see the hotel collection’s newest addition- the Address Beach Resort. Luckily, it also happened to be their official opening and their first guest had just checked in.

Our chaperone for the day was Alex Chubuk, the sales manager at the Address Beach Resort. According to Alex, we found out some interesting details about the latest addition to the Address Hotel Collection. The Address Beach Resort is a massive 77-storey connected by the tallest inhabited sky bridge in the world. It has 217 guest rooms and suites, including deluxe rooms, one- and two-bedroom suites, as well as a three-bedroom Presidential Suite.

It has a beautiful dining area indoors and also a beach dining area outside where guests can grill their own fish. Then we headed into one of the rooms to have a view of what guests lodged here will enjoy.

The Address Beach Front has 2 towers with 77 floors on each tower and a total of 217 rooms. It has a bridge on the 77th floor which will have the tallest infinity pool in the world.

This will be taller than the record-holding Singapore Marina’s Bay Sands.

Fun fact about the Address Beach Front: If 2 A380 planes are combined, they will fly through the middle of the 2 towers conveniently.

Wondering what to expect when you visit the Address Beach Resort? Alex, the sales manager, shared these 5 things with us and you definitely want to hear what he has to say.

Another fun fact: though the Address Beach Resort only just opened, they are currently fully booked from December 17 to 31st of January, 2021.

Lunch at the Address Boulevard Hotel with Kalanne Fubara of Dubai Tourism.

After such a wonderful time seeing the beauty of the new Address Beach Resort, we headed to our next stop: lunch at the Address Boulevard with the Director of International Relations, Kalanne Fubara of Dubai Tourism.

There’s nothing as good as great conversation over lunch. The amazing Kalanne Fubara of Dubai Tourism spoke to us about Dubai Tourism’s plan both generally and specifically for Nigerians.

She also gave us some insight on what to expect at the Global Village, which was our next stop.

 

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Global Village Dubai

Once we had lunch, we set out for the Global Village. The Global Village in Dubai is a commercial event that combines cultures of 90 countries across the world in one place. It claims to be the world’s largest tourism, leisure, shopping, and entertainment project. It is the UAE’s first cultural, entertainment, family, and shopping destination. Every year, it records over 5 million visitors.

With our tickets available, we headed right into the Global Village to experience the beauty. The Global Village started out with a number of kiosks in January 1997, and then it was located on the Creek Side opposite Dubai Municipality. It later shifted to the Oud Metha Area near Wafi City for 5 years.

Here are some countries/pavilions that we spotted as we made our way into the Village.

While we walked through, we realized that there was an Africa Pavilion that catered to a number of African countries here.

While Morocco and Egypt had their own dedicated pavilions where their culture, tradition, and entertainment are displayed. We stopped by the African Pavilion to see what’s in there.

At intervals, the entertainment band of the African Pavilion stepped out for performances; we were opportune to be there just in time.

 

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It was interesting to find out that the Global Village is as good as new every year.  It only opens from October to April of every year while between May and September, it is torn down and rebuilt in a new design, format, and structure. So even the residents of Dubai always have something to look forward to at the Global Village. As a tourist, it is definitely something that will have you going back every year.

The fun doesn’t just end at seeing different countries represented by their pavilions. There are other sights, activities, and views to experience.

You should get a caricature of yourself in just 3 minutes for just 50 Dirhams.

We sighted the Floating Market

A multi-cultural first of its kind in the world with an international culinary experience serving food from Southeast Asian country’s towns and villages. The amusing part, as the name implies is that – this is a collection of floating stalls in boats serving the best of Thai food.

When you decide to visit the Global Village, please visit at night. You’re asking why? The village brightens up beautifully at night.

These are just a few reasons why the Global Village should be a must on your next Dubai trip. The video below shows just how beautifully the village brightens up.

 

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After a fun-filled day at the Global Village, we can say that we now have a visual representation of what the statement ‘the world is a global village’ is.

P.S: You should go there with enough money if you are a collector; even if you aren’t, you’ll definitely find something to buy.

Day 3

Tortuga Mexican Kitchen

Another exciting place we visited was the Tortuga Mexican Kitchen which is one of the restaurants owned by the Jumeirah Group.

Here, we had lunch with Nigerian Celebrity, Anita Okoye, Christian Romer of Dubai Tourism, and Miet Saelens, Senior Director on communications, Jumeirah Group.

Miet Saelens and Christian Romero

Omotunde, Anita Okoye & Tomilola

Having authentic Mexican cuisine and wider Latin American dishes in a relaxed setting is something you should definitely try.

Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is a shopping mall in Dubai. It is the largest mall in the world by total land area and the 26th-largest shopping mall in the world. It is part of the 20-billion-dollar Downtown complex (called Downtown Dubai) and includes over 1,200 shops. Ever visited the Dubai Mall?

 

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Fun Fact: If caught without a mask in Dubai, you’ll be charged 3,000 AED

Can you guess our next stop? It was the famous Burj Khalifa.

The Burj Khalifa

We definitely looked forward to this one. Do you know why?

The Burj Khalifa is famous for being the tallest building in the world, and we needed that experience. Asides from it being the tallest building in the world, there are other interesting facts we got to know about the Burj Khalifa.

Do you know that The Burj khalifa has the highest number of stories in the world? It is also the most occupied floor in the world with the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, the Burj Khalifa has the tallest elevator service in the world.
This elevator has the longest travel distance in the world.

The Burj Khalifa’s height is a staggering 828 meters (2716.5 feet) tall, soaring over Dubai. It’s three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Laid end to end, its pieces stretch over a quarter of the way around the world. One of the most mind-blowing facts is that the weight of the concrete used on the Burj is equivalent to 100,000 elephants. Also, the total weight of aluminum used is equivalent to that of 5 A380 aircraft.

 Interesting views on our way to the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa

We headed to the 125th floor from the ground floor in a 60-second elevator. This lift takes up to 25 persons to the 125th floor in 60 seconds. It’s the fastest elevator in the world.

 

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Once we arrived on the 125th floor, we were completely blown away by the majestic view of the city from here. We understood why it was a famous and must-see spot in Dubai.

 

If you are as curious as we are, you’ll have some questions after seeing this structure. The management at the Burj Khalifa knew this and also provided an answer to these questions with the glass-inscription inquiry stop.

For me, I really wanted to know how they kept the windows of the Burj Khalifa clean and I did find out.

The building is cleaned four times a year and it takes 3 months to complete one cleaning cycle, which means it is cleaned all year round. The cleaners climb all the way to the spire and descend using ropes to the ground floor.

Once that’s done, they use the lift all the way up again and repeat the cycle.

The cleaners are attached to the building using high-tension ropes for their safety.

 

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Right after this, it was time to enjoy dinner with a beautiful view. So we headed to Thiptara.

Dinner at Thiptara

Do you know that Thiptara means ‘Magic at the water’? This Restaurant specializes in Royal Thai cuisine with a special emphasis on Bangkok-style seafood. It is beautifully surrounded by Burj Lake, and the spectacular views of the Dubai Fountain at night transform this contemporary al fresco waterfront restaurant into a truly magical setting.

 

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If you want to have an amazing first time at Thai Food, then Thiptara is definitely a great place to start.
In our short time here in Dubai, we’ve come to understand that food isn’t an issue, they literally feed you at every opportunity.

Through dinner, food wasn’t the only thing on our minds. We kept looking out for the outstanding performance at the Dubai Fountain and we were not disappointed. We couldn’t get over how 83,000 litres of water could put up such a show. So good!

Our entire dining experience at Thiptara can be summed up in the statement – Magic at the water. Next up is The La Perle Show.

La Perle Show

A visit to this outstanding and amazing show – ‘La Perle’ was a major highlight. Brought to Dubai by the Al Habtoor Group, La Perle is about a young girl who falls into a dream-like state and travels through the UAE in search of a lost pearl. During her journey, she comes across people from completely different worlds and cultures.

From sparkling acrobats rising from the smoke, to death-defying stunts, stunning singers, spectacular lighting, and fabulous storytelling, I was indeed wowed.

La Perle is brought to life by the critically acclaimed director, Franco Dragone. He is renowned globally for his masterpieces like Celine Dion – A New Day, Le Rêve (Las Vegas), and The House of Dancing Water (Macau). 

Imagine 4 motorists performing at lightning-fast speed in the Globe of Death! 😳 . I clenched my fist in fright till it was over. The La Perle performance fully does justice to its popularity. From acrobats and motorcyclists who perform gravity-defying stunts, the show was a stunning spectacle 💯.

 

 

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OUR SIGN-OUT NOTES

TOMILOLA

Dubai for me was everything and more. A much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of Lagos. I’m convinced that no matter how many times I visit, there’s always something new to see, and that for me is the beauty of Dubai. From shopping, architecture, hospitality, experience and food, Dubai had me longing for more and I can’t wait to visit again. So if you are still wondering why you should visit Dubai – I’ve come to tell you that you were made for the good life and that’s what Dubai has to offer you.

 

 

MOTUNDE

I have always heard about Dubai but experiencing it live was beyond words. Every stop we made had a lasting story Will I visit again? Definitely! My year certainly ended on a good note.

3 days and you can see why you don’t need a month to make your trip worth the while. Visit Dubai and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Thanks to Dubai Tourism for this amazing opportunity!

I hope you enjoyed following our updates on @bellanaijaonline #BNxDubaiTourism

Till next time – in another of your favourite city, love and light

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