There is a popular saying in Ghana that goes like, travel and see. Before you call me a villager, please come along with me as I share my experience on a lifetime trip I made to Dubai.
The trip was an eye opener for me and my colleagues, who were fortunate to be on the trip last December, sponsored by Emirates airline. For the first time, I came to appreciate and shared in the pain our brothers and sisters, who are outside this country, anytime they visit Ghana, and express their disappointment, regarding how far behind we are in terms of development.
Dubai is a beautiful city by all accounts. It welcomes you in a warm embrace, you can never have enough of the city, everyday is not only a day we wake up and count our days in life, but in Dubai, everyday is a new experience.
The first thing every visitor to that city will notice is construction, which is innovative.
From the airport to your hotel and travels around the city and you will notice one construction or another ongoing. The impressive infrastructure dotted across the city is a testament of innovation and tenacity of a people, determined to lead the world.
In fact we were told that over 70percent of world's cranes are in Dubai. In fact the only decimal in that country is construction, buildings are outdoing each other in elegance and style.
It is a city that is alive 12 months in a year. The warm embrace that welcomes you to Dubai, is first experienced aboard the Emirates Airline. The cabin crew is friendly and ready to assist you in any way they can.
Upon touching down in Dubai, coming from Ghana, you feel like you are on a different planet. Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport, which we so much tout and proud of, compared to the Dubai airport, looks like circle station in Accra.
The allegiance to the Dubai dream, by everyone you meet, from the pick- up driver at the airport, to the receptionist at the hotel, is a memorable experience never to be forgotten.
Even before the world could heave a sigh of relief from the devastating effect of coronavirus, nicknamed COVID-19, Dubai was open to receive tourists, because the safety protocols announced by the World Health Organisation, are being religiously adhered to. The two meters distance is observed everywhere, including the malls, bus and even washrooms, which came to me as a surprise.
The Journey To Greatness
The journey to where Dubai is today, was not by chance or a fluke, it was through a well conceited effort and plan, coupled with a vision to make the city the number one tourism destination of the world.
Leadership, it is said is about vision, a vision that will carry the people along.
Dubai joined with its neighboring emirates to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December 1971 and the city in the space of 49 years has grown from a small trading outpost into one of the planet's most iconic cities.
Billions of dollars, have been spent since the late 70's for the city to attract the best architects, contractors, personnel, equipment to help build, the best city in the world.
Two weeks stay in Dubai, is not enough for one to explore the city. Every building in Dubai, is a tourist attraction.
Leadership realized that, oil which was the mainstay of the people would finish one day, because it is an elastic commodity, so decided on what could be done to ensure that, the city does not suffer what is known as the Dutch disease.
At the time with a population of just 86,000, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid, who was the Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and later became the ruler of Dubai, begun an ambitious drive to make Dubai into something altogether more modern, a science-fiction take on what a city could be.
Indeed, everywhere and everything you see in Dubai is tourist attraction.
Burj Khalifa stands at 828 meters; it has been the world's tallest building since its completion in 2008.
It is the most notable building in a skyline that has shot up since the start of the 21st century and now rivals any other building in most advance cities in the world in both ambition and scale. It has 163 floors and the most amazing things is, it takes one minute to get to the top floor, using lift.
And in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, is another world record-breaker, the Dubai Fountain.
The fountain is the largest choreographed fountain system in the world, spread across the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake.
The Twin Emirates Towers
Another iconic building with style and an impressive presence is the Twin Emirates Towers. It beautifies the skyline of downtown and is something you can never miss. You will admire the architecture and the science behind it, because it is an imagination, you will say has run wild.
The Palm Islands
The Palm Islands are three artificial islands built on the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The three islands are, Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, and Palm Jebel Ali.
The Palm Islands, have become byword for luxury vacation. They represent incredible feats of engineering.
The Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower garden located in the district of Dubailand, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The garden was launched on Valentine's Day in 2013. The garden occupies over 72,000 square metres, making it the world's largest natural flower garden featuring over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants. If you have ever been to Aburi Garden, the Miracle Garden in Dubai, is a modern, and magnificent definition of innovation, couple with science.
The Butterfly Garden
Another place not to miss anytime you visit Dubai is the Butterfly Garden. The butterfly garden is the largest covered park of its type in the world, Dubai Butterfly Garden is a recreational facility featuring 10 custom domes housing around 15,000 butterflies from over 50 categories.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is the biggest indoor shopping mall in the world; it covers 12 million square feet, with a retail floor area of 502,000 square metres. The mall has an Aquarium & Underwater Zoo featuring thousands of aquatic animals and a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel. Every item, from electronics, books, clothing, perfumes, real estates, footwear, restaurants, forex bureau, etc, can be found in the Mall.
The Dune Ride
Your trip in Dubai will never be complete, until you go for Dune ride in the safari. anyone going through depression, does not need a therapist, all you need is the most exhilarating, satisfying and stress releaser ride in the desert.
I can't explain the feeling, until you experience it. The dune is the climax of every adventure in Dubai.
They are hundreds of interesting places to visit whiles in Dubai, example the water taxi, the gold market, the old Dubai, the Camel farm and the Camel hospital, which is bigger and more magnificent than the Korlebu Hospital, the palace of the King of Dubai, etc.
If you ever doubted the vision of the founding fathers of Dubai, in terms of making the city the number tourists destination, the tour guides, will reinforce the assertion.
My colleagues and I experienced Dubai's hospitality first hand, when we were fortunate to have the best tour guides take us round the city.
Every detail was broken down, the history of the people, told us in ways that holds your breathe. We had what we call in Ghana a 'good time'.
At every turn of our journey our regular tour guide, Nabil Almallah, who has been in Dubai and has been in the job for the past thirty years, always tells us Dubai is a city of superlatives, it has the biggest, the fastest, the tallest and the newest.
He made our short stay in the city a memorable one.
Another wonderful personality we met was Faisal Khan, who took us on the never to be forgotten journey to the desert, where we experienced the Dune ride.
His stories and encounters with celebrities, including Will Smith and Jaden Smith, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Zac Efron, Leonardo Dicaprio etc.
This search for the next big thing is everywhere you look in Dubai. It's what drives its people and those that come to build a life here, in what was once a quiet part of the desert.
In conclusion Dubai is
The most safety city in the world is Dubai
You lose something, you go back the next day and you will find it
Customer service is a culture in Dubai
Dubai is a country full of life.
It is an experience everyone should have.
It is nature brought to life.
A service like no other.
If you are ever thinking of going on a holiday that will live with you for the rest of your life, look no further than Dubai. It is a city of visitors, class and they are hotels to suit every pocket. My next article on Dubai, will look at the hotels in the city, I call city of life.
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