Dubai Police has criticised the management at GEMS Wellington Academy after the school was thrown into lockdown on Wednesday.

Authorities confirmed a woman in her 30s, performing a ‘suspicious activity’, caused the drama at the Al Khail Road school on Wednesday morning.

But police later said that she was a parent who entered the school wearing a medical mask and carrying some cleaning powder and detergents in a bid to show the school’s cleaners “how to clean properly”.

In a social media posting, Dubai Police said: “The school management seems to have rushed sending messages causing unnecessary panic among parents.”

Colonel Faisal AlQasim, director of security media at Dubai Police, called on the public to disregard any rumour regarding the safety and security of the emirate. AlQasim also called on the public to refer to the force’s official channels for reliable information.

The school went into lockdown following reports of an intruder. Students were held in different areas of the building after the alert was raised.

Anxious parents waited outside while Dubai Police and the CID investigated, before being allowed in to collect their children, who left safe and unharmed.

A GEMS spokesperson said: “GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail will function as normal from Thursday following a minor ocurrence. As the safety and security of our students and staff is our foremost priority, we suspended classes temporarily. We thank Dubai Police for their prompt support in resolving the situation swiftly. We reiterate to all students and parents that we are fully committed to the well-being of our students.”

UPDATE: A GEMS spokesperson said late on Wednesday: “GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail will function as normal from Thursday following a minor ocurrence. As the safety and security of our students and staff is our foremost priority, we suspended classes temporarily. We thank Dubai Police for their prompt support in resolving the situation swiftly. We reiterate to all students and parents that we are fully committed to the well-being of our students.”

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