A Chinese boy sneaked on board an Emirates passenger jet and flew to Dubai because he thought he could earn his fortune begging in the commercial hub.

The 16-year-old, named only as Xu, was found in the cargo hold of flight EK303 from Shanghai when it landed at Dubai airport.

He is said to have jumped over an airport fence and climbed into the cargo hold while a security guard was not paying attention.

Xu reportedly tried to make the dangerous journey because he had heard that beggars in Dubai could earn hundreds of thousands of yuan a year.

Emirates did not provide any details on the full identity or condition of the stowaway.

It said in a statement: "We are cooperating fully with authorities in Dubai and as this is a police matter we are unable to comment further at this time."

EK303 is usually served by Emirates' largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, and the flight lasts well over eight hours.

Click for more from Sky News.