While the city is perceived as safe for residents and tourists, it’s still important to be vigilant against theft in Dubai
11 September 2018| Last updated on 13 November 2018
Dubai residents have been warned by officials to be vigilant when out and about in Dubai, to protect themselves from theft.
This week, the Dubai Police took to social media to warn residents and other tourists against thieves acting as tourists across the city.
Reportedly, thieves posing as tourists may approach individuals in Dubai to inquire about currencies and exchange rates.
Whilst it remains unclear whether the warning from Dubai Police is a direct result of any incident, it’s still important advice for all of us living in a perceivably safe place.
Is Dubai a safe place to live for expats?
Like any city, Dubai has its share of unfortunate incidents; tales of assault, theft, damage and even murder are reported in local news sources.
But unlike other metropolitan cities, Dubai and the UAE in general actually has the lowest ranking of crimes related to sexual assault and theft in the world.
In fact, the UAE was ranked the 2nd safest country to live in out of ten, following an annual ranking compiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) earlier this year.
It’s common knowledge that a lot of residents take for granted how safe Dubai is; with many expatriates claiming to leave doors unlocked, car doors open, and even leaving their personal items on display when shopping or dining out.
This new Dubai scam that the Dubai Police has alerted residents about is one of a few scams that expats may experience while living in the city.
Other common scams in Dubai also involve people trying to beg for money in various different ways – they generally won’t want to hurt you, but begging is illegal in the UAE.
Some expats have reportedly come across the following experiences:
- A woman with a sick child: she’ll approach you, most likely wearing a burka, and will tell you that their child needs to go to the hospital – but she has no money to get there
- Man with injury: this is one of the most common Dubai scams, and happens frequently – with members of our team personally experiencing it also – he’ll approach you with a gaping wound on his arm, or with a colostomy bag strapped to his body, and will ask for money for his hospital bill or medication
- Men selling suits: These guys usually approach you with Italian designer suits and want to sell them to you – they’re generally fakes and copies, so best to avoid
- Family broken down in car: You may come across a family in a broken down car who needs money to help get them home
- Door knockers:It happens rarely, but you may be faced with a woman with a baby crying seeking monetary donations – just check your peephole and don’t open the door if they look suspicious
If you ever experience any of the above scams in Dubai, you can call the Dubai Police on their non-emergency line, 901. You may also contact Dubai Government directly on 800243 to report any begging activity you may witness.
What is the penalty for theft in Dubai and UAE?
Petty theft and scams are the most common forms of criminal activity that you may experience while living or visiting the country. Theft carries a punishment of imprisonment from 6 months up to 3 years, or a fine and community service.
Attempted theft, which is also a crime, carries the punishment from 3 months up to 18 months, or a fine.
The sentence received is given by the public prosecutor within Dubai Courts.
Why is begging illegal in Dubai and UAE?
The Islamic religion commands and encourages Muslims to work, and views working as a >high virtue; it forbids and disapproves begging.
Instead, it is the duty of a Muslim to give food to the poor, and provide monetary support to those in need… Without that individual having to ask. Begging is only acceptable if it is in absolute dire necessity.
As the UAE is a Muslim country, these laws are in place across the country – and therefore, begging is illegal in Dubai and the UAE.
In fact, the UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) will punish those found guilty of begging with three-months in jail and a AED 5,000 fine.