x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Concern over missing student

An Emirati student studying in California has been missing since February 16.

An Emirati student studying in California has been missing since February 16. Majid Khalid Shohail, 19, had been expected at Dubai International Airport following a 16-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles International Airport that departed the previous day. But he never arrived to meet his waiting family and sources in the airline said Mr Shohail never boarded Emirates flight EK216.

A source at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, said that Mr Shohail's mobile phone had been switched off when his family tried to contact him and that his father had since travelled to the US to look for him. Mr Shohail, who is from Sharjah, was studying English at California State University in Long Beach. It is believed he was in his freshman year in the university's American Language Institute.

It is not clear why he was returning home, as the university was still in session. Some media reports claimed Mr Shohail's luggage was abandoned at the airport, but neither the airport police nor the lost and found centre could confirm this. The university's campus police said they were aware of the case and confirmed that Mr Shohail had been reported missing with the Seal Beach Police Department. However, he had not been registered in California's database of missing persons.

Officials at the UAE Embassy said they were working with local authorities on the case, but declined to comment further. Mr Shohail's family could not be reached for comment. @Email:myoussef@thenational.ae