Passengers at counters at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport. Airfares are up in line with the annual holiday season ahead of Christmas and New Year. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulfnews archive

Dubai: While rare, it's not unheard of for a parent to leave his/her child at the airport, says an officer.

Dubai Police said of the 91.2 million who transited through Dubai International Airports last year, some lost items and others their children because they were in a hurry. They urged parents to keep an eye on their offspring while travelling.

“We have a very busy airport and sometimes passengers forgot their children in the airport. Parents must monitor their children in the airport. Police officers at airports play a key role [in resolving] such incidents,” Brigadier Ali Atiq Bin Lahej, director of the General Department of Airport Security at Dubai Police, said.

The statement comes soon after an incident where an Al Ain-based family who were on their way home from the Dubai International Airport were called an hour into their trip and told by police that they had “forgotten”  their three-year-old daughter at the airport.

The girl's father and his family did not notice the missing child until they received the call from an officer asking them to come and collect their daughter, according to an official at Dubai Police.

Brigadier Lahej said the strange thing was the parents ad not notice their missing daughter even though they were almost in Al Ain.

“We found the little girl at Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport. We checked the security cameras and traced her steps and identified her family. We managed to get the Asian father’s details and called him to come and collect his daughter,” Brig Bin Lahej said.

The man told police that he has a big family and they had taken two vehicles to reach home in Al Ain and did not notice his missing daughter.

“The father was shocked when we told him that he had forgotten his daughter in the airport. He thought she was in the second car,” he added.

After three hours, the family returned to the airport to get their daughter who was very happy to see her family again.

“We calmed the little girl down until the family came. Her family was happy and thanked us for what we did,” Brig Bin Lahej added.

This was not the first such incident at the airport. “Last year, an Iraqi family forgot their daughter while they were leaving the country. We found the girl crying and managed to reunite her with her family just before they left the country,” Brig Bin Lahej said.