I’m struggling to remember how old I was. Maybe 16 or thereabout.

My cousins were planning a holiday to Dubai, and because I was (am) such an awesome brilliant child, my god-parents invited me to follow them!

Obviously, I was overly excited while my siblings openly hated my excitement. I stuffed a few clothes into my blue medium-sized suitcase waiting for the D-day. But the trip never happened.

Travel to Dubai from Nigeria

The day before we were to travel, I was told my visa didn’t go through. Apparently, as a Nigerian girl, you couldn’t travel on your own if you were below the age of 25. Even though I was travelling with my aunt and her kids, I was still refused a visa because we didn’t have the same surname.

To be honest, I can’t even describe how I felt. What does surname have to do with it? The rules just didn’t seem to make sense to me. Apparently, I later realised that people could circumvent this process by having one of their parents apply for the visa as well, even though the said parent wouldn’t travel. My parents would never have agreed though. What if they arrest me in Dubai?

‘Biko sit your bum down in Lagos. Dubai is not running away‘. I’m sure my mum said something like that.

My siblings slightly rejoiced at this turn of events. Or maybe not. Because now there was no way I was going to buy all the fancy ‘abroad’ things they had requested.


Really, as my mum predicted,  Dubai did not run away.

After our wedding, we stopped over briefly in Dubai.

To be honest, I should stay we stopped over briefly at the Hotel in Dubai because we were indoors (couch potatoes) for almost all of the three days.

So no, I still have not been on that crazy safari in Dubai where everyone wears the turban and watch those belly-dancers in the desert.

Honeymoon in Dubai from Nigeria

* I think I had some sort of newlywed glow!

We managed to get to the mall, and to the Wild Wadi Water Park though. Although I was so upset at the husband for not telling me we were going to a water park, so I could take appropriate clothing with me.

I ended up wearing a white jumpsuit to partake in water sport, and constantly had to stop him from saying ‘It doesn’t matter, you still look good and it’s not awkward’. It was awkward. Everyone was looking at me funny.

Oh.  At least we saw the Burj Al Arab.

I remembered that the first Dubai near-travel experience again. Last month. When again, a Dubai visa didn’t come through. Bear in mind I’m over 25 now, so what could go wrong?

We had planned this trip to celebrate with our amazing sponsor at our wedding. (In the Catholic church, Sponsors are kind of like god-parents to the bride and groom. How cool!), who was turning 60, with her kids and grand-kids!

My colleagues knew I was going on holiday to Dubai, and just like my siblings they envied me, but this time not for abroad material things, but for the natural sunshine that abounds there!

I’m going to save you reading time and cut the long story cut and simply say my visa didn’t come through. And one of the incomprehensible excuses was that my surname on my passport was different from that of the husband. Really? Another surname excuse?

Yes really. At least that’s what the agent attempted to say. Pretty lame if you ask me because we had travelled to this same destination as newly-weds, with different surnames.

Simply put, the agent was incompetent and near-fraudulent. Customer service was non-existent. It was so appalling, I can’t even attempt to explain. Zero communication, ill-mannered and totally untruthful with us as customers.

Why do we have to go through an agent you may wonder? Well, if you fly Emirates, the official carrier of the UAE, they can process your visa for you officially. However, in the application form, there’s a drop-down selection of countries and Nigeria isn’t on there. Okay, second option. VFS is the recognised agent that helps to arrange UAE visa for people requiring same. But guess what, to be able to apply via VFS, you have to be over 40 years old, irrespective of whether you are male or female. Yes, 40 years old. That’s actually the official requirement.

So yes, that’s why as a Nigerian passport holder, you often have to resort to agents who in fairness, actually provide the visa.

But please be careful. My friend has such a terrible experience recently as well where she had used an agent for transport and accommodation in Dubai, and the said accommodation was never booked.

Till the international perception of the Nigerian passport becomes better, let’s be careful of dubious agents.

And if you’re a service provider, can you consciously improve your customer service and customer relationship! It’s extremely important.

I went back to work a week later and tried to come up with the response to ‘Oh. How was  Dubai?’. A brief narration left my colleagues in shock. Rather interestingly, most of the Nigerians I related this to simply said ‘God didn’t just want you guys to go’

I think that’s where I stand as well.

Have you guys had any near travel experiences or travel dreams that were shattered for whatever reason? Oh and if unlike me, you’ve actually had a real Dubai experience, please share how that went.

Love,

Kachee… Xx

pS: It wasn’t all a sad tale. We made the best of it, by exploring a part of the UK. Hopefully a post on that soon.


You may also like: 6 Love Lessons Learnt from my Wedding Ring and Our Barbados Holiday


19 COMMENTS

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19 Comments

  1. Precious

    May 18, 2016 at 05:55

    Lol at your outfit at the water park. Funny post as always. Trust Nigerians to attribute every happening to God. How are you, Kachee?My mother-in-law’s funny reaction to tv

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 18, 2016 at 09:36

      Thanks Precious! I really appreciate your comments. Ah. God is our backbone oh. Let us just be leaving it like that and hope for better days. I’m very well. Seems like the rest of the week would be really busy at work.

      Reply
  2. Oyetunji Temitope

    May 18, 2016 at 09:06

    That is the reason why I am going to Dubai with the mother. Thought she’ll be a fun travel buddy and serve as a perfect birthday gift to her as well. But the pain of visa denial for Nigerian passport holders is real fam. Pele baby. Maybe God didn’t want you guys to go sha. I kid (not).

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 18, 2016 at 09:12

      Awwww! That’s such an awesome birthday gift!! God bless you.The pain is real oh. Don’t worry I’m sure He didn’t want us to, and He’ll arrange something better for us. Maybe Mauritius. *wink.

      Reply
  3. Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde

    May 18, 2016 at 10:41

    Aww…i can only imagine, after all the excitement…that thing can pain! I went to Dubai in 2009 with the fam for vacation but i was still small and all i cared about was the shopping and fun parks(I think). So i don’t consider myself as having had the ‘Dubai experience’ just yet but i intend to sometime in the near future. My near travel experience has to be when i had already packed my whole life ready to go to medical school in ukraine but agent came back to say I didn’t get the visa meanwhile he just chopped our money and disappeared! Mann i was so ready to travel…lmao but oh well, all things work together for good.Toyinwithfashion

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 19, 2016 at 09:06

      As in. All those places you visit when you’re still young and don’t remember. Hopefully you can go back soon.What!! Medical school, not even just a holiday. What a shitty agent. That must have been devastating. Pele! All things really work together for good.

      Reply
  4. Adaeze

    May 18, 2016 at 15:44

    We really need to be careful my dear. Dubai in my opinion can only be defined in one word”picture” it’s like a picture, well planned and so beautiful.Oh yeah and the safari dessert, it’s a wonderful experience, the ride into the dessert is crazyyyyyyy and exciting, your andrenaline will go up. But please try not to eat just before you go, I felt really sick cos of the up and down movement of the cars. (Those drivers are from Mars)Make sure you also see the dancing water at the Dubai mall when next you get there. It’s nice too. Usually starts from 6pm and there is usually crowd, I had to stroll around the area for 10 minutes so I don’t miss any part and of course I had my phone to video. I know you will love it (winks*) can picture you screaming “awesome “Also go to the diera market(hope I got the spelling right) and visit the gold market, hubby may consider buying you one . Hehehe

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 19, 2016 at 09:08

      I’m so afraid of that Safari to be honest. I get car sick on a normal day, so I can only imagine what that will be like. But I Guess that’s the experience so I’ll definitely try. Hahahaha @ me screaming awesome. I’ll be sure to do that then. I hear the market is a must-go to too. Hahaha.Thanks for commenting for the first time! Come back often! xx

      Reply
      • Adaeze

        May 19, 2016 at 09:26

        Hehehe, I will surely be a loyal subscriber. Forward ever 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

        Reply
  5. KIKELOMO OMOTALADE

    May 20, 2016 at 09:55

    That agent is a scammer but madam why haven’t you renewed your passport na to carry Mr. Tee’s surname. I haven’t been to Dubai though I had a near travel experience which was ruined cuz I wasn’t 25(same as your first experience)…..hopefully sometime in the future I will go to Dubai.I once saw a picture of IK(Big Brother Africa Host) in a cased water slide which drops you or almost drops you into a pool of sharks or something of that nature and i have been dreaming of trying it out.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 23, 2016 at 11:48

      Pool of sharks ke?? Maybe Dolphins. I don’t know if I’ll try that oh. But let’s see! Thanks for your comment Kiks!

      Reply
  6. Candace McGee

    May 23, 2016 at 15:52

    I’ve been itching to travel to Dubai! I have a friend who teaches there. You’ve inspired me to reach out to her and start the planning!http://thequirklife.com/

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 24, 2016 at 11:02

      You should! You will have a great time. I just checked out your blog and followed via bloglovin’! Xx

      Reply
  7. Bababi

    May 27, 2016 at 21:23

    In 2011, my boyfriend and I were walking through a mall in Nigeria and someone told us to participate in a lucky dip for Safari Africa. We did and about a month later we were told we had won an all expense paid trip to a safari in Kenya. I was beyond deligted; I had never seen any wild animal that the world thinks lives in the homes of ALL Africans. …..but, there was a mighty BUT….The price ticket and hotel booking was written as “Mr and Mrs X”. Ehn, big wahala! My mother would never allow anyone call her daughter a “Mrs anybody” without doing the proper thing of getting married first. So we lost out on that trip….anyway, Kenya isn’t running away. I still have my eyes on Kenya.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      May 28, 2016 at 18:23

      I read this and I was like NO WAY!! African parents be like. That’s so sad. Pele love. I guess Kenya isn’t running away (except that it may not all expense paid. Sigh!)

      Reply
  8. Ona

    June 10, 2016 at 14:18

    Well one easy way to get the visa is at the airport as a transit/short stay 96 hour visa. But I guess it only makes sense if you have a different final destination.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      June 10, 2016 at 17:05

      We didn’t even know about this and only just found out when we got to the airport. We may have arranged some form of final destination!

      Reply
  9. Abby

    July 17, 2016 at 20:49

    Awwww! Sorry about your experience. I have been to Dubai even though I stayed only 3 days. I did the desert thing with the belly dancers, camel riding, saw the dancing fountain too. It really is a beautiful place! Would love to go to Abu Dhabi as well.I hear it’s more beautiful.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      July 19, 2016 at 16:47

      I think 3 days is sufficient honestly. Once I do those major things, I’ll be fine. I hear Abu Dhabi is great as well, and it is just an hour away or so from Dubai.

      Reply

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