For those who know the entertainment culture in Abuja, The Dome Entertainment was a masterpiece of its own with exquisite atmosphere for entertainers and hosting of big events for fun seekers. But it closed for some time and people craved for the high class activities it offered. Little did they know that the reason for its closure was due to restructuring and revamping of the edifice. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on the new masterpiece where Abuja fun seekers can quench their appetite.
Flashback to 10-years ago, The Dome, located around central area business district, was a hive of events. Its cozy atmosphere was welcoming to guests and celebrities who were in Abuja to have fun.
Top acts like, Tuface, Jim Iyke, Style Plus and other notable Nollywood stars had their glory on the platter at the Dome entertainment centre. The management was responsible for being the first organisation in Nigeria to bring an international legendary Hollywood act, Westley Snipes to Nigeria.
Be that as it may, the closure of the entertainment centre was a huge set back to fun seekers, event organisers and also celebrities who crave for a classy and memorable place to dine and wine.
It is on record that The Dome is the only entertainment spot in Nigeria that has a bowling centre and other recreational activities only found abroad.
But on January 22, 2018, an invitation to the Dome came as a surprise for many who thought it was out of business. Little did they know, The Dome was under renovation to meet the yearnings and keep to international standard of recreation and leisure. It is back with a bang, bigger, better and with more facilities to quench the yearnings of local and international patrons. The Dome now stands out as a destination for recreation and hospitality.
The Dome Entertainment centre has also added other features like The Francis Hotel, bakery, restaurants, Noni Pizza, Gym, Spa, Café, etc to the already existing top class bowling, snooker, swimming centres. The masterpiece is an asset to the face of Abuja and people who crave for a place to have fun need not look elsewhere.
It has also created job opportunities for the youths who are now gainfully employed.
In a chat with the Chairman, The Dome Entertainment, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, he pointed out that he is excited that the place many consider the best leisure centre is back, bigger and better.
According to him, they were not in a rush to open the place for business as soon as the reconstruction and repositioning of the edifice was concerned, they were certain that the uniqueness of The Dome would tell when it finally opens for business.
“Entertainment is life. At one time it is bubbling, at another time, it needs to take a break to rejuvenate. Some of these reasons might be strategic, while others might be forced.
“In this case at some point, it was very difficult to function due to the community development, road network that was going on. So, easy access became impossible. We decided to give them a break to complete their work but six months went into one year and then two years, and we have operated for almost 10 years.
“We then felt it was time to go back to the drawing board and come back with something new that would be a reflection of our new vision for the entertainment industry for many years to come. We went into a lot of work, for our own design and plan, we would have been up about now functioning but for some other reasons, the economy in particular, but we are happy to be back with lots of activities.
“The Dome is a brand, a destination and not a one stand activity. We are not a nightclub. It is a place you go and see whole lots of things under one roof. Before now, we had the palm nightclub, the bowling. As we speak today, is still the only bowling centre in the whole nation. We have a kitchen where you can get cuisines from all over the world. We have a fine dinning restaurant, outdoor restaurant and so on. We also have a bakery. We have added the Francis hotel, which is another addition to hospitality.
The Dome now stands out as both a destination for recreation and hospitality.
“What makes the new facility unique is, as you can see, it is not the contemporary architecture you see around. We have new improved organisation which is left in the hands of a competent and trustworthy managerial team,’ he explained.
Dr Okonkwo also urged the government to make the environment conducive for investors to boost tourism in Nigeria. He believes in the uniqueness of entertainment Abuja offers and hopes his dream of helping to groom Nigerian youths in hospitality and entertainment business would be prioritised to give them a stand to also seek for employment wherever they want.
Also speaking, the Acting General Manager, The Dome, Ursula Coster, a professional hotelier and a South African, believes that the new revamped Dome Entertainment Centre and Francis Hotel would never disappoint in terms of standard and urged Abuja fun seekers to come have a feel for themselves. The grand opening is yet to be announced.