Dubai Police arrest man in woman’s clothing while begging outside mosque

Dubai Police Apprehends Beggar in Women's Attire for Sympathy Gains vvv-1710498150866
The arrest of the man disguised as a woman while begging outside a mosque in Dubai forms part of the “Combat Begging” campaign launched by the police.
Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: Police here arrested a young man who was wearing an Arab woman’s clothing as he was begging near a mosque.

The Department of Suspects and Criminal Phenomena in the General Department of Criminal Investigation of the Dubai Police said the young Arab man was disguised as a woman covered in a an “abaya and niqab,” while begging for money from people near a mosque.

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An abaya is a loose over-garment and robe-like dress (usually black), while a niqab is a garment worn by Muslim women in the Middle East in order to cover their body and face, except their eyes.

The arrest forms part of the “Combat Begging” campaign launched by the force in cooperation with strategic partners to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the country’s civilised image by curbing the practice.

The individual justified his choice of disguise by claiming that female beggars often receive more sympathy than their male counterparts. The arrest was facilitated by a community member’s alert to the General Department of Operations. It highlights the importance of public cooperation in these matters.

Brigadier Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Department, emphasised the lengths to which beggars will go to exploit the public’s goodwill, especially during significant times like the holy month.

He highlighted that the tales spun by these individuals often diverge significantly from the truth, urging the community to be wary of their manipulations.

Reminders to the public

Al Shamsi also stressed the need for the public to refrain from giving money to beggars, pointing out that there are established, legitimate channels through which those in genuine need can seek help.

He further reminded that begging is a criminal offence under Federal Law No. 9 of 2018, warning against the practice’s detrimental effects on society’s image.

Moreover, Al Shamsi advised against responding to beggars’ pleas or interacting with them based on pity and encouraged reporting beggars immediately via the contact centre (901) or the “Police Eye” service on Dubai Police’s smart App.

He also warned the public against falling victim to sympathetic online messages from beggars on social media and emails featuring fabricated stories and urged them to ignore such messages.

How to report beggars in the UAE

  • Contact centre (901)
  • “Police Eye” service on Dubai Police’s smart App