The other day I entered Abu Dhabi briefly. Apparently additional security measures were in place for immigration, and the fast track queue took about 40 minutes — even though the line wasn’t particularly long.
What was unique was they were insisting that everyone fill out landing cards. I don’t recall ever filling one of those out before, I certainly haven’t in the past few years, and the person behind me noted they hadn’t done so last week.
These weren’t cards distributed on the plane. Instead, as everyone got in line they were being told if they were a non-resident they had to go fill one out before getting back in line. Everyone was directed to a long table with a bunch of forms strewn about. The forms were in English.
I use the term ‘forms’ lightly, they were more like photocopied sheets of paper with questions clearly written by someone for whom English wasn’t their first language.
I’m not criticizing here — first of all, I don’t proofread my blog posts and second of all I am not in any way proficient in Arabic so far be it for me to criticize their English.
I just found it fascinating — the hasty photocopied page for everyone to fill out.
Here are some of the questions and statements on the document:
- Where you was staying the country you came from?
- Who lives with you in the same region?
- What is you specialty or occupational?
- In your family reside to that country?
- What is the security situation there:
- Name of counrties that you have visisted before:
- What is your job in your counrty
- Please: taking photos of the cards and documents of the person concerned
Click to enlarge:
A large Russian man was ahead of me in line. He was sent to go fill out the form, which took him about 15 minutes. He came back and decided to resume his place in line ahead of me. And this time he wasn’t alone. I decided to keep quiet about his bringing along company into the line. I didn’t want a confrontation with this large Russian gentleman in the immigration queue inside the UAE. When he got to the front of the line though he was sent back to go get his iris scan.
Some of the questions on the form I couldn’t actually answer, the questions didn’t make sense, so I left them blank. I was waved through in moments.