I visited Dubai for a 5-day experience built around the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which has become the leading international travel and tourism event unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
Tourism destinations from around the world converged at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 1-4, to showcase their brand alongside with the biggest names in accommodation and hospitality, tourism destinations and attractions, as well as innovative travel technology providers and airlines.
Africa was well represented at the 2023 edition of ATM, which has become a significant event in the global tourism industry, that highlights the importance of innovation, inspiration, and connection in tourism.
By collaborating with international partners and showcasing Africa’s unique offerings, African countries like Morocco, Egypt, Mauritius, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Rwanda made their countries attractive and viable for travelers worldwide.
I used the opportunity to revisit the Dubai Frame, a popular tourist attraction located in Zabeel Park. It is a landmark building shaped like a picture frame, with a height of 150 meters and a width of 93 meters.
The building comprises two towers connected by a 100-square-meter bridge at the top. Visitors can take a high-speed elevator to the Sky Deck on the top floor and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city, including old Dubai to the north and modern Dubai to the south. Some of the landmarks in view from the Dubai Frame are the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Fountain.
After exploring the Sky Deck, visitors descend to the ground floor to enter the horizontal section of the frame, where they can experience a unique perspective of the city as they walk across the glass-floor bridge. The bridge offers a thrilling experience as visitors feel like they are walking on air, with an unobstructed view of the ground below.
Inside the Dubai Frame, visitors can explore a range of exhibits and attractions that showcase the history and development of Dubai, as well as the culture and traditions of the UAE. The journey begins on the ground floor of the structure, where visitors can walk through a multimedia exhibition that uses interactive displays and augmented reality to provide an immersive experience of Dubai’s past, present, and future. There are also observation decks, a gallery, and a souvenir shop.
The Dubai Frame is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm. Tickets can be purchased online or at the attraction’s ticket counter. It is a popular destination for tourists, especially those interested in architecture and photography.
Address Beach Resort
I also visited the Address Beach Resort located in the award-winning building design featuring two 77-story towers connected by a sky bridge.
Address Hotels and Resorts is the first brand launched by Emaar Hospitality Group. The premium luxury hotel group has positioned itself as a choice perfect for business, leisure, and group travelers.
The address has brought a fresh identity to the global hospitality and service sector by setting new benchmarks with its gracious hospitality and exceptional service standards. Positioning its messaging as ‘Where life happens’, Address Hotels and Resorts offers a more personal and engaging experience to guests in a premium lifestyle environment, enriching the lives of its guests with luxury, style, and elegance.
Address Hotels and Resorts properties are situated in some of the most sought-after locations. The brand also owns and operates Address Residences which is a leader in the serviced and branded residences sector. Address Hotels and Resorts is set to operate hotels and serviced residences in international markets, in the region, as well as in Dubai.’
The project was developed by Emaar Hospitality Group and Al Aseel Investments. The Address Beach Resort is a mixed-use twin 77-storey tower development that will accommodate a 217 key five-star hotel, 478 residential apartments as well as 444 serviced-branded apartments.
One of my personal highlights from the trip was my visit to Efie Gallery owned by a Ghanaian mother and her two sons.
Efie Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in Dubai specializing in the representation and advancement of artists of African origin, both from the African continent and its global diaspora.
The space also displays the gallery’s founders’ collection of rare vinyl and shellac records from around the world, celebrating the intersection of art and music. Efie was founded by Valentina, Kwame and Kobi Mintah
Another amazing first-time experience for me was the La Parle, which takes place in a theatre close to the V Hotel by Hilton, where I stayed.
La Perle is the region’s first permanent show, located in the heart of Dubai at Al Habtoor City and brought to Dubai by Al Hatoor Group.
La Perle features a breathtaking fusion of immersive artistic performance, imagery, and technology. La Perle is influenced by Dubai’s rich culture, vibrant present, and aspirational future, which is brought to life by awe-inspiring stunts and special effects that will leave viewers speechless.
Feel embedded with the artists as the 270-degree seating provides a different perspective of the action unfolding in the tailor-made aqua theatre. Witness the stage flooded with water and drain in a matter of seconds as the artists perform mind-blowing aqua and aerial feats, such as diving from 25 meters high.
The water stage is clearly the center point, holding a staggering 2,700,000 liters of water and 8 meters deep! Artists come and go with grace, and spectacular death-defying high-flying dives should be expected.
The show itself is the creative work of Franco Dragone, renowned for his past roles as creative director for Cirque du Soleil and A New Day in Las Vegas with Celine Dion.
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I closed my visit with some desert adventures including watching the sunrise on the dunes and quad biking. Follow my social media handles for more from the trip.
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Holy Child alumni illuminate the path forward amidst national school power crisis
In recent times, the narrative of power challenges in Ghanaian schools has escalated, with numerous public institutions such as Mfantsipim School, Accra Academy, and Mondo Senior High Technical School among others facing abrupt electricity disconnections.
This persistent issue highlights the dire need for sustainable solutions in powering educational facilities, crucial for maintaining the quality of education.
Stepping into the spotlight with a pioneering initiative, the 1999 alumni of Holy Child School have set a remarkable precedent.
In a bid to combat these electricity woes, these visionary women have successfully funded the transition of their alma mater to 75% solar energy. This initiative not only addresses the immediate problem of power outages and financial strains on the school’s budget but also serves as a beacon of climate-positive action with the potential for carbon credit benefits.
Founded in 1946 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Holy Child School has long stood as a bastion of educational excellence and societal impact in Ghana. Its alumni include distinguished personalities such as Ghana’s Ambassador to France, Anna Bossman; Goldman Sachs Vice President, Sabina Dankwah; and University of Ghana’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Amfo, to name a few.
The Solar Project
This solar project, a gift from the 1999 alumni commemorating their 25th anniversary and coinciding with the school’s 78th speech and prize-giving day, symbolizes a profound act of giving back and forward.
In an exclusive interview with the Business and Financial Times, engineer Ing. Mrs. Sheila Enyonam Akyea, president of the year group, shared: “This project builds on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We’re thrilled to extend their initial contribution, ensuring every corner of our school benefits. It’s our way of ensuring current and future students receive the same level of empowerment and opportunity we had.”
Project’s Committee Chair Ing. Mrs. Teresa Kyei-Mensah, mentioned the substantial investment the solar installation demands, emphasizing ongoing fundraising efforts.
she said: “Once completed, the initiative promises significant savings for the school and, by extension, the Ghana Education Service, redirecting funds towards essential educational resources,” she added.
Solar power, increasingly recognized for its affordability and environmental benefits, stands as a viable solution for Ghana’s educational sector and its broader climate goals. With abundant sunshine year-round, Ghana is ideally positioned to harness solar energy, reducing the financial burden on public resources while contributing to global carbon reduction efforts.
The project was completed in January 2024 after a 1-month testing phase. The year group eagerly anticipate the handover ceremony at the 78th Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Holy Child School in Cape Coast on Saturday, 9th March 2024 marking a significant milestone in their commitment to sustainable development and quality education in Ghana.
This initiative not only lights the way for other schools grappling with similar challenges but also underscores the powerful impact of alumni engagement in shaping a brighter future for the next generation.