Dubai is famous for sightseeing attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (The world’s tallest building) and shopping malls that come complete with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes. The city has many cultural highlights and the tourist industry of the United Arab Emirates is the most successful among the Gulf nations and it is a potential people like Gift Preye Solomon have tapped into to survive when other choices of survival are lean.
Of course, Gift Preye Solomon has made her life the envy of many after years of doggedness and sheer courage. When she arrived at the “City of Gold” all she had was 300 dollars that ran out in no time and the question of survival became a big issue. But the issue opened a new dimension in her life and she explored it wholeheartedly. She formed a company known as Dubaigetaway travels.
“This company is inspired by the story of my arrival in the UAE, Dubaigetaway travels has existed since 2016, a few months after I arrived in Dubai,” she recalled.
Continuing, she narrated the story behind the company, “Before I came to Dubai I always thought that traveling outside the country was very expensive and that, only the rich could afford to travel outside Nigeria, and before I came here I was very ignorant and most of my friends then, too, even the rich ones. So when I came here after months of looking for a job with no positive feedback, I had no money left and I didn’t want to go back to Nigeria.
“I’ve always been a fan of adventure, capturing moments on my phone and I’ve always shared them on my Instagram, so one day a friend we follow each other on Instagram called me and said his family would be coming to Dubai. that he would like me to take them to all the beautiful places that I always post on Instagram. I was happy to take them, considering that I was jobless and had nothing to do and I saw the opportunity to visit good places.
“When they came, I loved the children, the family was lovely, they were so nice to me and treated me like they had known me for many years. So, it was easy to walk with them, after a few days they were all ready to go back to Nigeria, I saw them off at the airport, when they were leaving, the lady hugged me and put something in my hand and so they left. When I got out of the airport I checked the money, it was $300, I was shocked and was so happy because I was so broke and that money was enough to pay my rent for that month and even buy me some food, I could eat something other than noodles.
“After a few weeks I thought I could really do it as a business, so I started helping people plan their trips to Dubai, people always recommended me to friends and families. In most cases, I helped them get visas and tickets from business travel and agents. As an intermediary, I could pay my bills and afford some things, so I decided to open an Instagram page and started posting my adventures with my clients. In 2018, I registered my business because it was outside the scope of one girl show and was out of my reach, so I had to recruit a team, and at that time I already got a job at Freedom Pizza, it became a company and I couldn’t handle it alone. Now, I am proud to say that we have not only helped families, couples and friends plan and fulfill their dream vacation, but have helped over 40 people move here to the UAE and they are doing their jobs very well.”
Apart from the side hustle on which Gift Preye Solomon survived in the emirate of Dubai, she went on to create a record as the first female delivery rider, working with Freedom Pizzas of Dubai. Her story at the pizza company is a lofty one to behold.
She worked as a customer service representative for 2 years before she was promoted to a supervisor and then to assistant manager. She decided to become a delivery rider after years of working with some amazing delivery riders which were men.
“I am the first female food delivery rider in the UAE, I am sure there are female delivery drivers, but not riders, because I have never seen them, like other people,” she stated matter-of-factly.
Gift Preye Solomon hails from Ese Udo local government area of Ondo State but was born and bred in Benin City in Edo State. She was born into a family of 6 children consisting of 4 boys and 2 girls.
She has a degree in Multimedia Networking from NIIT, Benin, Edo State. She later enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) but dropped out at the 200 level as a result of financial difficulties.