UAE: 967 beggars, illegal workers and street peddlers caught in Dubai

Dubai Police display a large amount of cash found in the possession of a beggar
Image Credit: Dubai Police

Dubai: The Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, in collaboration with police stations across the emirate, has apprehended 967 individuals involved in begging, street vending, and illegal labour since the start of the Ramadan campaign ‘Combat Begging’ in April.

The arrests include 396 beggars, 292 street vendors, and 279 illegal workers.

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Brigadier Ali Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Suspicious Persons and Criminal Phenomena Department of the General Department of Criminal Investigations in Dubai Police, said that Dubai Police constantly strive to raise community members’ awareness about the dangers of begging, intensifying their efforts during Ramadan and the festive seasons.

“During these times, beggars seek to evoke sympathy by increasing their presence in residential, commercial, and worship areas. Street vendors also try to elicit sympathy differently but pose a real threat to community safety, especially when they offer food and supplies of unknown origin, presented in poor conditions,” he added.

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The director stressed that begging, street vending, and the presence of illegal workers threaten community security and tarnish the state’s image, sometimes linked to “severe consequences” such theft and the exploitation of children and the sick in begging.

Use official channels

Al Shamsi also emphasised that the campaign also aims to educate the public about donating through official and trustworthy channels to ensure aid reaches those who truly deserve it. He urged the community to distribute alms through state-approved charitable organisations and called for the public not to respond to beggars or deal with illegal workers.

Report beggars

The public can assist the police by immediately reporting any observed beggars through the contact centre 901 or via the ‘Police Eye’ service on the Dubai Police smart app, along with the e-Crime service for reporting cybercrimes smoothly through