43,200 Minutes Free in Dubai

See Dubai, and enjoy the access

I have spent quite some time online today, but not with this laptop. I stood in line for free access at the Dubai International Airport’s access point (which is strongly branded by one of the global mobile phone manufacturers) and was able to make my online meeting with the Human Network — to discuss the next phase of our research project.

While still enjoying the scenery of this airport (and my camera batteries acted up after the first shot), 🙁 I was looking over from an amazing view while having lunch (courtesy of the airline) — and could only think: “when will Lagos become the hub that it should be”. I returned to the access point… and then the “Quiet Lounge” where I decided to continue seeing a movie on my laptop. I was tired of “stand-up access” but really would have loved to stay online and get stuff done.

I wouldn’t know why, but I guess for reasons best known to the curious side of me, I pushed the wireless access button. Of course, there was maxspot starring me in the face. Trust Skype, it connected even though I was yet to buy the access card as advised by a lady at one of the restaurants that I know would usually provide wireless access in some major cities — but not at the airport today 🙁 To push a little further, I launched Firefox (my default browser for life — please consider leaving the bondage and crash-happy status of Internet Explorer) and bingo, the usual access page was there.

But my attention was drawn to the notice, “30 days free access”. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check it out 😉 After a few pages, and few lines for registration, I was met with the notice, “You are now on line! You can now browse the internet for 43200 minutes. To end your session click on the log-out button. If you do not log-out your session will automatically end after 5 minutes of inactivity”. Na lie! While trying to check out the truth in the offer, I looked out for the usual “payment method” dropbox, but it wasn’t there… so na true!

Of course, I connected to my usuals (eMail, FTP, secure web access and other suspects… and of course, “/blog”) and the only thing I need to worry about right now is how to get my battery power back to 100%, and a secret wish that the flight would be delayed 🙂 But considering the fact that I need to unpack my bag and mind ahead for the long week of intense ICT South-South collaboration, I could do with paid access and continue enjoying my 43,200 minutes on my way back to Lagos.

When you combine free access with the amazing stucture and feel at the Dubai International Airport, one can only appreciate the gentleman who said, “See Dubai and die!” Don’t die, enjoy the access — and duty free (on on condition, of course).

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