During the start of Ramadan, news came out asking residents to report beggars to the police. Begging is illegal here in the UAE but nevertheless, rampant especially in the holy month of Ramadan when people are consciously exerting effort to be extra generous.
The beggars have roamed the streets once, camouflaging as normal individuals but catching your attention with a meek voice as you pass by, “have mercy, madame” or “anything for dinner, madame”.
Last year, our apartment door bell rang and when we opened it, there was a lady in full black robe (abaya) carrying a child cheeks flushed red albeit from roaming around in this hot weather! She told her story that she was from Palestine and her husband recently died, thus asking for alms. I gave some amount, closed the door and thought of that child in her arms up to this very day. The beggars have switched to standing in the streets to knocking on doors to be more discreet.
Then this news blew all of us away: Ramadan beggar arrested with 30,000 dhs in pocket (US$8,000)!
The beggar collected that massive amount just for begging during the time of Ramadan which started 20 days ago! The people are really being extra generous! But begging poses a security risk to the public. According to the National:
Although no federal legislation addresses begging in the streets, police said the issue posed a security risk to the public. Executive orders have been issued earlier to combat this activity and we have discovered criminal gangs dedicated to panhandling in the country
Dubai Police is rewarding people for reporting Ramadan beggars. Members of the public are urged to contact police on a special free number, 800243.