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Dubai taxi drivers don’t mind keeping the change, but not the baby

DUBAI // Most of us have accidentally left a phone or keys in the back seat of a taxi, but not many have left a baby or a bag full of money and gold behind.

Two infants and gold worth more than Dh6 million were among the lost and found items of Dubai taxis.

“Twice babies were left in Dubai taxis by parents,” said Ahmed Mahboob, customer service director at the Roads and Transport Authority. “They were returned to their parents.

In March, one couple going to the airport forgot their baby was sleeping in the back seat of the taxi. They were in the UAE on a break from another Gulf country. When they realised their mistake they informed airport police who contacted the RTA who told a surprised driver to rush back to the airport and hand over the sleepy baby.

“We have also had a bag containing 20 kilograms of gold, one with 24kg of gold and a third containing $20,000 (Dh73,446) left by passengers,” said Mr Mahboob.

Last year there were 21,733 lost and found items in Dubai taxis and 6,822 on public transport. 

Passports, laptops, wallets and mobile phones were some of the items left in taxis. 

“A smart system called D8 used to collect data about taxi trips, helps in retrieving lost items,” Mr Mahboob said. “The smart application provides three important pieces of information – the locations where the taxi collected and dropped off the passenger, the cost of the trip and finding out the taxi that collected the passenger who reported a lost item. Details of the trip are helpful in recovering lost items.”

Pakistani taxi driver Sayed Noor said he gets passengers forgetting their mobile phone once or twice a day.

“Whenever I find a lost mobile phone, I give it back to the taxi corporation,” he said.

“Many taxi drivers find extravagant things, such as gold, and we return it to the relevant authorities.”

He thought people might think that when a taxi driver found a valuable item, they would keep it for themselves.

“This misconception about taxi drivers must change,” he said.

“There is the good and the bad in every side of the world and the same thing applies to us.”

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The National