It’d be hard to believe that, a couple of decades ago, Dubai was mostly desert, given its allure and advances. The city’s allure is manifest in the fact that it’s the fourth most visited city in the world, pulling people from all walks of life and all corners of the Earth. It scooped 15.92 million visitors in 2018, according Gulf News.
Nigerians find it fascinating to vacation in the glitzy Arabian city, so that they frequent it the most in Africa, according to Dubai Tourism. While Nigerians still visit other cities, Dubai seems to have the craze and the wave. Given this status quo, one begins to ponder why Nigerians holiday in the city tremendously. This question culminates in the crux of this article.
Dubai is quickly becoming the veritable example of a fancy city. It’s one of the few cities that use some of the most powerful supercars in the world as police cars — the Bugatti Veyron, the Lamborghini Aventador, the Ferrari FF and the Bentley. The Guinness World Records has in fact recognized it in this light; actually, for having the world’s fastest police car in service — the Bugatti Veyron. The city also has two smart police stations, fully automated and thus completely free from any human intervention. Further, Dubai’s Metro system features driverless trains.
Further on fancy, the city’s skyline and landscape are posh, so that no city in the world can eclipse the Arabian pride in this regard. Would it be wrong then to assert, in this connection, that some Nigerians visit it to — to be euphemistic — grace themselves and — to be gritty — replenish their bragging rights. Please, note that this is only a tip of the iceberg of Dubai’s fancy. All its modern feats culminate in its fancy. In fact, the following culminate in its fancy.
Dubai boasts some of the best attractions in their category. Whether you’re seeking the world’s tallest building, the world’s most luxurious hotel, some of the largest and really impressive archipelagoes (the Palm Islands and the World Islands), the world’s tallest performing and largest choreographed fountain, one of the world’s largest suspended aquariums, some of the world’s tallest hotels, exclusive attractions etc., you can find them all in Dubai. These attractions are not merely record breakers, they’re glitzy, posh, chic and futuristic.
The city also holds a great deal of posh restaurants, luxury hotels, parks, museums, resorts and family entertainment centres that serve as perfect destinations for vacationing. In this way, whether you’re travelling alone or with your family, you’d find activities suited to you.
In truth, Dubai has become a world leading holiday’s destination thanks to its futuristic attractions, among other things. That’s a given, clearly. It never tires of making blitz to dazzle the world.
When a thing of pride or fashion (say a piece jewellery) were cheap, it is usually abandoned for the more expensive one. Such is used to measure wealth. This is a good explanation to why Nigerians patronize Dubai. Records show that Dubai’s one of the most expensive cities in the world. While it is not currently on the top 10, it has once been the second most expensive city in the world, after Geneva. According to Mental Floss, Dubai is, of the 10 most visited cities in the world, and currently the most expensive to spend a day in.
While the fact about the city’s expensiveness is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t visit it on a budget.
You probably should have heard people dub the city as “an international shopping destination” or something like that. If you’re looking for luxury or cheap shopping, or shopping with unreserved hospitality or even shopping and dining, you’d get served in Dubai. For example, the city has one of the largest malls in the world (Dubai Mall) and the largest market for Chinese products outside China (Dragon Mart).
Remarkable shopping destinations aside, Dubai holds a shopping event called Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) annually. Participants deem the festival a spectacular shopping experience.
During the event, Dubai becomes one big shopping complex. The festival is renowned for staggering discounts offered on purchase throughout the city. Virtually everything is sold at a poleaxing discount. In some cases, the discount could get as high as 95%. Prizes, such as property, cars, gold, and money are raffled. According to Gulf News, 31 Rolls Royce were given away in 2001 and from 1996 (its inception) to 2015, over 970 cars had been given away. In 2005, one winner went home with 100kg of gold; and four Emaar Property Villas were also raffled.
During the event also, Dubai’s air gets profusely festive. You’d see fireworks, street performances, musical concerts, fashion shows and plenty of entertainment for children. While the festival is applicable to all shopping destinations in Dubai, it has its designated rendezvous, Global Village. Virtually everyone in the world visit Global Village during DSF. And about 4.5 million people visit the city annually just for DSF.
No matter how exquisite a place is, if it isn’t safe, people would scarcely visit it, especially as regards leisure. Google shows that people run searches on Dubai’s general safety, Dubai’s safety for solo female travellers, Dubai’s safety from terrorism etc. In light of the foregoing, it has been found that Dubai is a relatively very safe destination. Some residents of Dubai who have also lived in one or some of the Western countries say they prefer it to most Western destinations, but don’t miss the fact that that’s only an opinion. Gov.uk mentions that around 1.5 million British nationals visit the UAE every year and most visits are trouble-free.
The UAE, in which Dubai is, has established a lot of initiatives to keep extremism at bay. These, plus Dubai’s rather stern laws, allow of a peaceful air in the city. Oussama Amrani, a chap who has visited and spent time in Dubai, says he forgot his smartphone in a bus and surprisingly, for him, it was sent back to him by a Pakistani taxi driver who only charged the taxi fee.
Lastly and very importantly, the UAE, in 2018, was designated as the happiest country in the Arab world and one of the happiest in the world. It has maintained the title of the happiest country in the Arab world for four consecutive years. In this connection, as reported by KhaleejTimes, Emirati Ahmed bin Al Sheikh says, “I love the fact that we live with so many nationalities that the country embraces with full respect and no discrimination,” and Egyptian Nourhan Maher says, “Only in the UAE can you leave your bag temporarily in a coffee shop and come back to find it.”
These may be subjective but I’ll get on with it. Nigerians have a high sense of excellence, seek the very best, are adventurous and daring, ready to spend to get the best quality, and are stridently dynamic. When we consider this spirit, we can speak better on why many Nigerians take their children abroad for education, why they love holidaying in places like England and the US.
Now that Dubai has proven itself to be a city to be reckoned with, Nigerians patronize it. They do because they have a high sense of excellence; because they seek the very best; because they’re adventurous and daring; because they don’t discriminate but are ready to appreciate other people’s culture; and because they love and appreciate success and development. They tell when they see one. Put simply, given Dubai’s development, Nigerian’s visit it because they’re Nigerians. As an appendage, this Nigerian spirit is either active or latent.
Dubai’s state-of-the-art hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, various shopping experiences, skyline, alluring glitz and strident dynamism, among other things, lend it one status — veritable flamboyance. And they make it “a happening destination”. This is the one word which explains why Nigerians holiday in the city immensely and why the fad about touring it is buoyant in Nigeria. Conditionally, Nigerians will continue to vacation in Dubai tremendously.