Indian man says denied UAE entry ‘over moustache’

Bizarre incident sees man denied entry at airport over facial hair



An Indian national was denied entry into the UAE after refusing an immigration official’s demand to shave off his moustache in a bizarre incident at an airport in the Gulf state, it was reported.

According to local daily Gulf News, Sujeev Kumar flew into Sharjah International Airport from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on Friday, when an official withheld his passport after objecting to his facial hair.

Kumar claimed that the unnamed officer refused to return his travel document after stamping it. “After stamping my passport, he kept looking at me and the picture in the passport. He asked me how I keep my moustache brushed and laughed,” Kumar told the newspaper.

Kumar claimed that the immigration officer continued to query him on his moustache in an official tone. “He finally told me: ‘If you agree to shave off your moustache, I will let you to go’ and kept my passport with him,” he said. “He kept my passport and told me very seriously again to remove my moustache if I wanted it back and called the next person in line.”

Kumar said that his passport was only returned after asking to speak to the immigration officer’s superior at the airport. He was then permitted to enter the country.

Brigadier Dr Abdullah Bin Sahoo, director general of the Sharjah Department of Naturalisation and Foreign Affairs, told Gulf News that that CCTV images are being studied as part of an investigation into the incident.

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Posted by: Zahed

Nowadays immigration officers have a tough job to do and they are responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security. If there is the slightest of suspicion even where looks are concerned, they have all the right to interrogate the traveler to establish the facts.
All immigration officers should be applauded in playing an important role in enforcing the law and protecting the country's national security, which is one of the reasons why so many foreigners - residents & tourists alike are flocking to the golden shores of the UAE.

Posted by: Rambo

I do not see why such a big fuss is made about this event. In the US, travellers are made to appear nude on screens and have cavity searchwes. What happened to this man pales in comparison

Posted by: tfg

We have a lot of Eurotrash and South Asian trolls on this board, as well as the pot stirring AB staff who should know better.

In any event, reading the frustrated trolls is often hilarious.

Posted by: Oldtimer

Seriously, In this day and age, with biometrics (fingerprints, iris scans etc) I cannot fathom the harassment of a Bonafide resident of the UAE. I suspect the local immigration officer was having a sick joke and misplaced humour at the expense of the hapless expatriate.

Posted by: Non-Muslim

Yesss, in some countries around this globe, some immigration officials DO try giving bona-fide travellers a hard time before allowing them in. Sometimes, as described here, it's only a beautiful beard. Sometimes they just keep asking you why you have a new passport. And some countries offer visa-free immigration, but then (at least one country I know of for sure) require an online pre-registration, and then take a "wanted" picture and a full set of finger prints at the point of immigration before considering to generously let you in by stamping your passport... When entering France from outside the Schengen area, it happened to me at CDG that French immigration officers ask even EU citizens to show a passport, although a proper ID card is sufficient by law.
Some immigration officers around the globe seem to need such "action" once in a while.

Posted by: Naseem

Mark Renton - happy new year and i can't help but wonder what has upset you in Farid's astute comment; methinks it is the hilarious but very true 'drag queens and clowns in the airport' comment...
I feel the immigration officer should be commended and honored for being so alert and focused rather than doing his job in a perfunctory manner.

Posted by: Mark Renton

Naseem - If you read my original comment properly, you will see I qualified it by saying "based on the reported facts" i.e. assuming the reported account is actually true.

And there is no need to be concerned about me being "frustrated" but thank you anyway. I am not frustrated at all, just highly amused at the nonsense that some people will come out with in an attempt to defend the indefensible.

TCG - indeed, and they appear to have aligned themselves with the "make stuff up" brigade and the "there are other places that are worse" team....

Posted by: Naseem

Mark Renton - No article ever goes into the nitty gritty details of any incident. In fact, you weren't even there for you to make such strong statements against the airport authority so tone it down i suggest and direct your personal frustrations elsewhere. I can suggest some New Year resolutions if you wish.

Posted by: Mark Renton

Farid, this immigration officer was not asking questions. He was telling the guy to shave his mustache off. Try to actually read the article properly before commenting.

Posted by: Farid

An Immigration Officer has the right to ask endless questions if his suspicion is raised. Looks change greatly when sporting a beard or stubble or mustache, nose jobs, plastic surgeries, drag queens, disheveled look, etc but as usual the same know-it-all Telcoguy with the same bitterness that is consuming him. Oh before i forget, many Spanish airports suffer from serious safety concerns, i pray for Spain's humbled economy...

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