The Sun News

“I was on a plane when hacker posted ‘stranded and need money’ on my Facebook”

Best memory of a trip

I had once planned a trip to Dubai and made my hotel booking, only to confirm from the hotel that I cannot check-in until 2 pm local time and my flight, Emirates, will arrive Dubai at 7 am local time. What will I do? I decided to check and book another hotel so I can sleep ahead of my check-in at 2 pm. Because I didn’t check properly, I didn’t realise that the hotel, Hatta Fort Hotel, is a 100km drive from Dubai on the border of Oman. I got to Dubai, called a taxi and we commenced the long drive.

However, it turned out to be one of the best places I have stayed. So I ended staying for two days instead of five hours.

Lesson: Ensure you plan adequately for your trip and don’t make last-minute arrangements at the airport.

    

Downside of a travel

On one of my trips to South Africa, I was on my way back, at the airport, waiting to check-in when I got a call from somebody asking me to send my password to my Facebook, which I did. At the time I was just getting into the aircraft. I arrived Nigeria only to be told that my Facebook account was hacked. While I was airborne, the hacker was busy on my Facebook account, demanding money from my contacts, telling them that I was stranded and in dire straits. Luckily, my colleagues in the office got to know, and because they knew my real situation, they promptly shutdown the account.

First travel out of Nigeria

That was in 2001, to Paris, France. It was an unforgettable experience. I went to Disney, Eiffel Tower and Peugeot Plant where 3500 cars are manufactured per day.

Favourite cities

First Dubai, then Cape Town. My favourite neighbourhood is Downtown Dubai.

Favourite meal abroad

Once I am out of Nigeria, Greek Salad is it.

Lessons from travels

One is amazed by the level of development and orderliness in other countries. I have learnt a lot about different people and different cultures. I have also become more aware of the tourism opportunities in Nigeria and, therefore, believe we can create a Dubai here in Nigeria. 

Travel advice

Plan, travel light and don’t be extravagant. Use the opportunity to learn.

Dream travel

I will like to travel to China. I will also love to visit Zanzibar.

Ideal travel companion

None. I love to travel alone!

Unforgettable monuments

The Dancing Fountain in Dubai, and in France, the Disneyland Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

Unforgettable moment abroad

That must be my first visit to Dubai in 2008.

Travels dos and don’ts

Make sure you have documents for travel, understand the rules and the culture of your destination; it is equally important you plan your budget.

Essential travel tools

My mobile and a book.

Favourite hotels

Emirates Grand Hotel, Dubai and Hatta Fort Hotel, Dubai

Favourite pastime abroad

Touring the city, essentially, taking a longer walk than I do in Nigeria.

Dr Balogun is the MD/CEO of Global Property and Facilities International Limited–an integrated services company, with expertise in integrated facilities management, property management & infrastructure operations & management. The Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International is a notable entrepreneur, community developer and business leader. He is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos.

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