A trip to lost and found at the Dubai Mall sheds light on human decency

I was forced to face the frightening possibility the ring had dropped out somewhere in the sprawling space that is the Dubai Mall

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 23, 2017:     People shop ahead of  Eid Al Fitr at the Dubai Mall in Dubai on June 23, 2017. Eid Al Fitr, or the 'festival of breaking fast', marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawaal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Christopher Pike / The National

Job ID: 97926
Reporter:  N/A
Section: News
Keywords:  *** Local Caption ***  CP0623-na-Standalone-Eid Shopping-04.JPG

There's an unmistakable sinking feeling in my stomach as I drive to the Dubai Mall, and it only gets worse when I enter Fashion Avenue and take in the sheer magnitude of the space.

There's no way I'll find what I've come looking for. I had been here two days prior, and long story short, I had taken off a ring (a cluster of diamonds set in a flower, on a gold band), and had put it in my pocket while tying my hair in a ponytail, and then forgotten about it.

After browsing the shops for a few more hours, I headed home. That evening I remembered the ring, but when I put my hand in my pocket, I found a gaping hole in the lining, and the ring was gone. I combed my entire house looking for it, but when my search turned up empty, I was forced to face the frightening possibility it had dropped out somewhere in the sprawling space that is the Dubai Mall.

Having visited other lost and found departments elsewhere in the world I'm wary of what the setup will be like here in Dubai. Will there be a dedicated space for missing belongings? Will the security guard even know what lost and found is?

Turns out he does, and he points me to the lower ground floor. I follow his directions and find myself in a small room fitted with a desk, bureau of drawers and leather sofa.

I’m told to fill out a form, as the attendant opens a drawer and starts to pull out packet after packet filled with jewellery. I feel a spark of hope – there are so many returned pieces – maybe a decent soul picked up my ring and brought it here.

I see what looks to be an expensive Bvlgari Serpenti watch, along with some dainty pendants, and a host of chunky, jewel-studded rings.

There’s even a nose stud – though I’m eager to ask how that could have possibly fallen out of someone’s nose and then get spotted on the floor, I bite my tongue and instead focus on my ring.

I’m asked to describe it, detailing whether it’s gold or silver, and what kind of stones it features. Based on my answers, the attendant behind the desk starts putting some of the plastic packets back into the drawer, narrowing down the options until only a handful remain.

I am told there were a total of eight gold and diamond rings turned in over the past week. Sadly, none of them are mine. Seeing the dejected expression on my face, the attendant tells me there’s still a chance somebody could bring it in, and that he’ll call me if that happens.

As I get up to leave, he opens another drawer, revealing a pile of wallets and keychains.

And although my trip to the lost and found department bore no fruit, I can't help but feel impressed with
the system.

While my own ring remains to be found, the amount of gleaming gold jewellery and wallets bursting at the seams that have been turned in, prove to me that ethics and integrity still prevail.

Read more from Hafsa: