Dubai Police Crack Down on Beggars
A picture of a beggar reaching out to passersby meets with the relative tolerance of authorities in many countries, but not in the United Arab Emirates.
Begging in UAE is not just frowned upon. It is illegal.
And now, in an effort to tackle this undesirable phenomenon – at its height during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan - Dubai police have launched an anti-begging campaign, encouraging local residents to report any suspicious activity.
Rewards are being offered to encourage reporting instances of begging as part of the authorities’ initiative to reduce the number of beggars during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The government has also has stiffened the visa issuance criteria and placed penalties on companies caught helping beggars to enter the country.
According to a Dubai Police news release, the majority of beggars enter the country during public festivities and religious occasions. They say that professional beggars exploit religious sentiments during Ramadan to make money.
According to reports, beggars are resorting to all manner of crafty ploys to con the community, including altering their appearance to elicit pity.
Brigadier Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director of the CID Department of the Dubai Police, gave a few examples of the lengths professional beggars are resorting to:
“An Asian man was nabbed begging after having professionally attached a bogus adhesive on his stomach pretending to have undergone a disturbing operation. The CID personnel spotted an Arab woman with a baby she was using in asking for help. She confessed to have hired him in order to draw sympathetic hearts.”
The police stress that those begging in public areas are to be treated as professional beggars and not people in need. They add that those in need are advised to head to special charitable organizations for the needy in order to get sanctioned help.
NTD News, Dubai, United Arab Emirates