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British Citizen who had never visited the UAE was held over MISTAKEN IDENTITY while in transit, travel plans ruined. No compensation.
July 11, 2016
British Citizen who had never visited the UAE was held over MISTAKEN IDENTITY while in transit, travel plans ruined.
A British Citizen was arrested in transit through Dubai. He was advised that there was a case against him and given no further information, despite having never been to the UAE in his life. He tried to argue this fact with authorities at the airport but was held for four days before he was able to attend a hearing. It emerged that he was arrested simply because he had a common name and shared the same date of birth as the man he was mistaken for.
After the identity issues were clarified, a bureaucratic nightmare began that lead him into a series of back and forth visitations between CID, the Police, the airport and round in circles again until he was finally able to leave. Of course, his travel plans were ruined and he returned to the UK.
There is no possibility for compensation to be paid by the UAE authorities and most travel insurance companies do not cover such an eventuation.
Please note the following:
1. There is a common misconception that one can not be arrested in a jurisdiction until they have cleared out of the transit area; and
2. Authorities do not rely on passport details and so the use of a different passport or passport number does not offer protection from arrest.