The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has put up green-white lighting on Burj Khalifa, a 2,722 feet skyscraper situated in Dubai, to celebrate Nigeria on her 60th independence anniversary.
The construction of the Burj Khalifa started in 2004. Its construction was based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil-based economy towards having the city of Dubai gain international recognition.
The skyscraper has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009.
Some records the building has broken since its completion in 2009 include the tallest structure ever built, the building with most floors (163), and the world’s longest travel distance elevators.
Others are the highest vertical concrete pumping for a building, the world’s tallest structure that includes residential space, the tallest skyscraper to top of the antenna, and the world’s highest elevator installation.
The tower was also named the world’s highest nightclub (144th floor), the world’s highest New Year display of fireworks, and the world’s largest light and sound show staged on a single building.
The true story behind the lightning
Sadly, not many people know the true story behind the lighting up of the Burj Khalifa by UAE to celebrate Nigeria’s independence.
A few months ago the UAE suspended granting visas to Nigeria (shortly after the arrest of Hushpuppi and co during COVID-19 lockdowns).
For the sake of one criminal and a few miscreants, the UAE made that move unilaterally to discriminate against all Nigerians without consulting with the Nigerian government or considering the diplomatic impact. There were also reports of Nigerians being maltreated in the UAE.
After lockdowns ended and the flight resumed, the UAE reopened its borders to other countries but maintained the visa ban on Nigerians and said nothing about the maltreatment of Nigerians in the UAE during the COVID lockdown period.
The Nigerian government (much to my surprise) refused to take that insult sitting down. The typically redundant government swung into action and issued an immediate ban on all Emirates flights from Nigeria (which happens to be the 3rd biggest revenue stream for Emirates airlines).
From the 23rd of September, the Nigerian government refused to allow any Emirates plane touch Nigerian soil and banned flights from many other country’s airlines who do not regard Nigerians with the same courtesy that we regard them.
7 days later, the UAE reversed the Visa ban and yesterday announced that they will now allow Nigerians visa access to UAE in the hopes that Nigeria restores Emirates flights. The lighting of Burj Khalifa was a symbol of goodwill to appease Nigeria.