Getting Questioned in the Dubai Airport
My time in Dubai was short but it was a very memorable one. I did the tourist stuff like seeing the Burj Kahlifa, I went to the desert, went through the souks, oh and I also got questioned in the Dubai airport. Let me explain.
After a friend of mine said goodbye in our hotel in Dubai, we both set off to different airports to go our separate ways. Her, back home to the States, and myself to Germany. I had everything packed and ready to go and quickly headed towards the airport.
I checked my luggage in, got my ticket (after almost not being able to board because I didn’t have a ticket out of Germany), and waited as usual. Everything was fine until I scanned my ticket to board the plane. A red mark appeared on the scanner when the kind airport staff scanned it and the guy looked very confused. He called over a head manager where she told me to follow another man to check something in my bag. It’s okay Sarah, no big deal.
I was escorted out of the building by a man in a nice suit to a separate building where they were scanning all of the checked in luggage. I fumbled around in my small handbag for my suitcase lock key and tried to calm my nerves. It’s okay.
The room was tiny, just a conveyor belt and a scanner machine. It was a bunch of older men all looking grumpy and annoyed.
“What is this?” One of the men asked as he pointed to an ex-ray machine. I was confused. What was that? It looked like a bag with a bunch of squiqqles in it. What could that be?
“I-I’m not sure.” I stammered. “Let me open it.” I insisted, knowing it couldn’t be anything bad. I moved some stuff around until, finally, I found what they were looking for. It was a bag of change of currencies from all over the world. You see, they don’t exchange coins so if you have some leftover, you’re screwed. I happened to have a lot of change from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Peru, you name it. And let me just say Peruvian sole’s and Thai bahts make a lot of room for not a lot of money.
“It’s just change, see. I couldn’t exchange them.” I explained as I opened it for them to look.
They discussed amongst themselves before handing me a phone to talk to another man who asked, “How much money is it?” “I’m not sure.” I said nervously, knowing it couldn’t be that much. It was all small change. “Probably $20 at most.” I guessed because again it was all weak currencies.
I sat there nervously, just wanting to board my plane and get out. I have been pulled aside, patted down, before in security but never pulled aside like this before and questioned. I did not like it.
I handed one of the men the phone and they spoke for a few moments in a language I couldn’t understand. A few moments later they eventually escorted me back to my flight and I was free to go.
Have you ever been questioned at the airport before? What was it for, what happened?