Military wants "ID Card"?
Yesterday, my husband and I were driving around doing some sightseeing, and we had a strange interaction with two guys in military uniforms. I hope someone in this forum can cast some light on it.
We were on the road towards the Umm Bab jetty, when we decided to pull of the road to take some pictures of the sunset. We were on some tracks that a lot of vehicles had clearly driven on before, and were maybe 10 meters off the road. My husband got some pictures of the sunset, then he noticed some interesting insects on the ground, so he started taking pictures of those too, when a vehicle drove up, and two guys in tan military uniforms got out and asked us stuff in Arabic. Unfortunately, we don't know any Arabic, and they knew no English. My husband indicated that he'd been taking pictures of these insects, and that resulted in them scruitinizing the insects and the bush they were on, and having quite a discussion about this in Arabic.
Then they asked my husband for his "ID card." My husband showed them his Qatari drivers licence, and his ID from his employer, and his registration for his rental car, and even his American drivers licence, but none of that satisfied them; they kept insisting that he show them his "ID card."
They scrutinized his various papers very carefully, and copied stuff down off them, and made several phone calls. They asked if we were married, and we said yes. They figured out that my husband is a doctor, but he tried to explain that he is not a medical doctor, but a college professor, and that resulted in some more confusion. They didn't ask me for any ID, oddly. I had my American passport with me that I could have shown them if they'd been interested, but they clearly weren't.
Eventually, a policeman in a policecar showed up, and strutinized my husband's various papers, and eventually told us, in a friendly way, that we could go. So we got back on the road and drove the very short way down to the beach, where a family was having a picnic and some people were hanging out enjoying the remains of the sunset. It really didn't look like the beach was near any sort of top-secret military installation. (It's a very pretty beach, with lots of wild date palm trees, and interesting seashells.)
Does anyone on this forum have any idea what that was about? What sort of ID did they want? Why did they want it?
with you at all times showing your stamped visa in it. I would also speak to your employer for them to issue some form of security pass if possible. I know with QP a guest (mother of a town resident here) was asked to produce ID and didn't have any. They had to organise a security pass for her to carry around with her for the duration of her stay.
I think it's unusual not to have an ID card that is what would have thrown the security. If you don't have an ID card, usually it means you are here on a temporary visa ... this is the visa you should have a copy of to show them instead of ID card.
Spot ID/paper checks happen frequently though-out the middle east. You should always be prepared.
Since you weren't taken away, you must have had enough papers for them to have been satisfied.
In central Doha it doesn't happen too often, but once you start heading out, especially toward the oil/gas/military areas it's not unusual.
jaelee, that's the point, we don't have residency permits, since we are not residents. Neither do we have ID cards of the sort that the military were looking for. Do such ID cards exist for short-term visiting workers? My husband's employer didn't tell us anything about needing ID cards.
No serious threats have been made, but we have been advised that there will be extra security during the next two weeks. Entering Dukhan on the main gate is a machine gun on the back of a ute aswell as another one in front of the QP Head Office main entrance.
I know of three friends who have been stopped and asked to show their ID.
If you had your residency permit on you or your ID card and showed that I am sure you would have had no problems. ... inshallah.
Umm Baab is not far from Dukhan, which is a main oil/gas town so around this whole area is increased security at the moment.
I forgot to include in the above post that my husband is a temporary employee, not a resident.