Toks David, Lagos
Abuja’s high end entertainment and leisure multiplex The Dome is making a comeback and, if plans from management are like anything they’ve described, it is going to be bigger and better than ever before.
After many months of an effective shutdown for upgrades, the 10-year-old centre is going for a new look, with revamped full services and facilities to be officially opened to the public this May 11.
The Dome had earlier on February 8 launched a family friendly soft opening with a pool and bowling party.
The reboot is to be commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who, according to a press statement “will also unveil celebrity youth icons for FORTY NIGERIA, a youth self-actualization project of the presidency.”
The grand opening will head off a 3-day weekend of partying, in the nightlife atmosphere for which the old Dome was renowned. This “Dome Reunion” would feature a local and international cast of celebrities, including South Africa’s singing duo Mafikizolo.
Owned and operated by investor Obiora Okonkwo, The Dome, located at the FCT’s Central Business District, had been, until its closing for restructuring and upgrade work, a staple of Abuja nightlife – especially for a well-heeled and connected clientele.
So after months of what seemed like delays, with vague promises about a soon-to-be-announced reopening date, the multiplex will indeed be staging what its operators are hoping to be a permanent comeback, with improved features to include: a world class six lanes 10-pin bowling alley; international franchise, the Camelot Spa; fitness centre and health bar, The Bodytrust Fitness & Health Centre; The Summit Restaurant and Bar; The Paradisio with options for outdoors and poolside view; a Pizzaria serving up Noni’s Pizza; the Twin Café, a combo of café and bakery, and the WiFi-enabled Ogidi Banquet Hall for conferences.
The expanded Dome will also be launching full scale hotelier services to include The Francis Hotel, a premium boutique hotel.
But this isn’t the first time The Dome has done a facelift. Back in 2016, coming off its on-again, off-again operations, Okonkwo, a tourism powerhouse in the nation’s capital, reportedly invested about N200 million in upgrades. In an interview with ThisDay, the entertainment mogul had said: “I believe that by investing heavily in entertainment, I heeded the call by government for people to open up new economic frontiers that will better position the country.”
That seems to be the operating principle behind this latest round of improvements to an old establishment.
“We have a goldmine which we have neglected for oil. The entertainment industry is the oil field that will drive our future,” the May relaunch press statement said.