Dubai family turned away from Eye

london eyeLondon Eye bosses have apologised to a family from Dubai who were initially stopped from boarding, apparently after being overheard speaking in Arabic.

Syed Husain, 65, of Manor House, north London, was stopped while showing his sister and brother-in-law the sights. They joined the queue at the London Eye, on the South Bank, and went through the usual security checks. But Mr Husain said: “As soon as the security guard heard my sister speak to her husband in Arabic, the attitude towards us changed. They said: ‘Sorry, you can’t carry a bag with you’.”

Mr Husain’s bag was searched and he was told to bring it to a locker at Waterloo Station, while his sister and her husband were held in a secure area nearby. He returned without the bag and the three queued again but were confronted by the same security guard, who asked if he was carrying knives. “I was surprised, he had already searched me, now he is asking for knives. I said ‘no’, then he pushed his hand inside my pocket, searching for knives. He couldn’t find any knives. He then let us inside the capsule.”

BBC News, 21 August 2006