Dubai expat finds lost gold necklace after stranger drives down from Abu Dhabi to help

The good Samaritan, who used his metal detector to comb the beach, has now become the go-to person in such situations after his previous successful retrieval


Mazhar Farooqui

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Giovanni Cavallari with Hasan Zaheer after recovering lost gold necklace. Photos: Supplied
Giovanni Cavallari with Hasan Zaheer after recovering lost gold necklace. Photos: Supplied

Published: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Feb 2024, 10:39 AM

Italian expat Giovanni Cavallari lost a cherished gold necklace, a sentimental gift from his mother, during a volleyball match in Dubai's Kite Beach. Despite exhaustive efforts with friends and security, he could not find the necklace in the sands.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged when the 22-year-old stumbled upon a Reddit post detailing a similar experience involving a lost ring at JBR and how Hasan Zaheer, a Pakistani salesman in Abu Dhabi, retrieved it.

With newfound optimism, Cavallari contacted Zaheer at 11pm on Saturday and was amazed by the swift response. Zaheer, a hobbyist with a metal detector, didn't hesitate to help.

However, a logistical hurdle arose: for Zaheer to search the area, Cavallari needed to secure the volleyball court booking on Sunday, with the only available slot being 7am. This meant Zaheer had to leave from Abu Dhabi before six in the morning.

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"When Cavallari called me and expressed how much the necklace meant to him, I readily agreed," said Zaheer, who had purchased a metal detector online during Covid-19 and indulged in beachcombing as a hobby.

As the sun rose on Sunday, 36-year-old Zaheer, a father of two, arrived at Kite Beach, where Cavallari eagerly awaited him.

Cavallari recounted: "I watched in awe as Zaheer pulled out a metal detector and went to work. Frankly, I didn't give him much chance as we had scoured the area for hours the previous day. So, imagine my surprise when Zaheer dug up the necklace in five minutes. I was ecstatic and gave him a big hug."

In a touching gesture, Cavallari attempted to express his gratitude monetarily, but Zaheer graciously declined it, opting instead for a shared breakfast.

Cavallari said, "I'm immensely relieved to have found the necklace, all thanks to Zaheer's selflessness. It truly highlights the spirit of Dubai, where strangers readily extend a helping hand. It's moments like these that truly define the city's essence."

Zaheer expressed his satisfaction in being able to lend a hand, noting that he has become the go-to person in such situations after his previous successful retrieval of a ring at JBR, which gained attention after the man shared it on Reddit and the post went viral. With Cavallari also sharing his experience on Reddit, Zaheer finds himself inundated with calls from those seeking his assistance.

"The day I found Cavallari's necklace, I also discovered a lost ring for an Indian gentleman amidst the wandering dunes of Dubai's Half Desert, making it a remarkably successful expedition," he said.

Since Zaheer embarked on his hobby, around 25 distressed owners of missing jewellery, predominantly rings, have reached out to him, often with positive outcomes. Additionally, his pursuits have led to discovering an array of treasures, from coins spanning over 30 countries to keys and assorted metals.

Reflecting on his unconventional hobby, Zaheer said, "Metal detecting brings me immense joy, though I'm uncertain about its legality. People often offer me money for my services, but I truly value their prayers and goodwill."


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