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25 November 2018

Will Smith explains why he loves Dubai

Hollywood's biggest star on why he loves coming to the Middle East, where he likes to travel, and more

Bloomberg/David Paul Morris

by William Mullally

What do you love about Dubai so much?

I came to Dubai 15 years ago, and I came during a time that 40 per cent of all of the world’s cranes were in Dubai. The entire skyline was cranes! Dubai dreams the way I dream. When I landed, I thought, that’s the way I would build a city! It really flows with who I am. You never know why a city speaks to you, but my two favourite cities in the world are Miami and Dubai. It’s just the energy of providence. The way that the people and the royal family and the design and the ideas have to be the best in the world—not on par, but everything has to be the best in the world. I love that energy.

What is your itinerary out for a perfect day out in Dubai?

You have to start the day at Skydive Dubai. That’s the best way to see the Palm from up high. I brought my kids to Dubai, and we jumped together. I’ve jumped probably five times at Skydive Dubai.

I play a lot of golf, and I love to play in Dubai, as it has some of the best golf courses in the world.

How has your experience been in Dubai with your family?

My daughter was here a couple of months ago, and it was the most beautiful thing—she Facetimed me from out in the desert on a camel. I thought that was so beautiful—the cross of Dubai’s high technology with the old style of technology. And the Wi-Fi is really great in Dubai, have you noticed?

Which of your recent co-stars would make the best travel buddy?

 From the whole Suicide Squad, there are about 10 of us. We’ve been travelling around for the last month, and there’s a character called Captain Boomerang, played by Jai Courtney. I think Jai Courtney would be the best travelling buddy because, as I learned on the film, he’s unbound by the necessity to act normally.

A motoring question—on set, did they let you drive the Batmobile?

When I first saw it on set, I lost all my cool. Immediately I dropped out of character and was five years old again. But they won’t let anyone drive it. I wanted to, but can you imagine crashing the Batmobile? That’s a bad insurance day right there.

Where’s the best place in the world to hide out?

There are a couple of really cool hideouts for me. I love Trinidad, in the Carribean. If I’m going to disappear, South Africa is another really good place to get away.

Where haven’t you been?

The Seychelles, the Maldives, Bora Bora. I haven’t done a lot in Indonesia either. I would love to go through there. Those are the top ones on my list.

What can’t you travel without?

I have to have my iPad. I have my whole library on there. I don’t watch movies a lot on flights because of the small screen. I feel like it’s disrespectful to my fellow artists. I can’t say, ‘Hey Denzel! I caught your movie on the flight! You were so little!’ Flying is my reading time.

Could you settle a bet for us? What’s your best song?

 “Summertime” is the jam. Oh yeah, that’s the one.






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