The missing Al Ain schoolboy Ibrahim Hasan Abdul had told classmates that he planned to run away, according to the headmistress of his school.
Ibrahim, 14, a British citizen, was last seen on the afternoon of May 10 outside Al Ain Mall, just across the street from his family's home.
Police and mall security guards saw him on security cameras crossing Othman Bin Affan Street and walking towards 106th Street at 5.23pm. He has not been seen since.
He was wearing a brown T-shirt, white shorts, black sports shoes and carrying a red and black England sports backpack.
A ninth-grader at Al Dhafra Private Schools Al Ain, Ibrahim had been telling friends for a week before his disappearance that he would leave the city, said the headmistress, Elham AlAbed.
He said he would take off to Abu Dhabi, Dubai or sleep in a mosque. "They all thought he was joking. He even said he might cross the border into Buraimi as he had his passport."
Ibrahim's mother, Fatima Elmi, said she had initially been concerned that her son had run away, but now believed that was not the case.
"I was worried when I couldn't find his passport but found it after a couple of days," she said. "I don't trust the kids because they have a different story every time. The principal won't even let us talk to them anymore."
Mrs Elmi still believes Ibrahim would never run away. "My son is not the kind of teenager who would do this, he is a good boy who would not leave home like this."
Mrs Elmi has been constant contact with the police, but says she has had no news about Ibrahim's whereabouts.
Ms AlAbed remains confident he is safe and sound. "The boy doesn't have any money or food so if something happened to him we would have known it by now," she said. "My intuition says he is being sheltered by someone somewhere."
She said she had "never had a case like this" in her 12 years as principal, and the whole school was in shock at Ibrahim's disappearance. She described him as a humorous youngster.
He had a normal Thursday at school, despite a slight altercation with a classmate before taking the school bus home.
Reeba Arthur, principal at the neighbouring Al Manahil Private School, where Ibrahim was a pupil until last year, agreed. "He was a respectful and well-behaved boy who no one ever complained about."