UAE | General

Men in luxury cars ask Dubai pedestrians for petrol money

Dubai Police official urges residents to report such cases

  • By Faisal Masudi and Bassma Al Jandaly, Gulf News
  • Published: 21:39 July 1, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News
  • After asking for money a man drives away in his 4x4 with a grill placed in front of the number plate, making it difficut to identify where the car is from.

Dubai: Motorists in GCC-registered luxury cars have reportedly been “begging for petrol money” from surprised pedestrians in Dubai.

A number of residents confirmed they had recently been approached by motorists asking for cash to cover their trip back home. The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is a regional bloc of six countries: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

At least four residents said they were solicited on the major road, lined with skyscrapers and outlets of international brands.

Those asking for funds were spotted in top-end cars such as a Bentley, Chrysler 300 and Ford Explorer.

Residents said the motorists had a similar excuse — that they had blown their budget for a short stay in Dubai and needed petrol money to manage the trip home.

“I was rather surprised to see a well-dressed man in a green Bentley ask me for petrol money so he could make it back to Saudi Arabia,” said Rahman, a valet service worker for a hotel on the road.

“I’ve seen him twice, asking others too. My colleague was also approached by a driver of a Saudi-registered luxury car for the same reason.”

An Indian resident said she had a similar experience last week.

“We had just parked next to a Ford Explorer when the driver rolled down his window and said he needed some money for petrol to travel back to Saudi Arabia,” said Anandita Mankodi, 27.

“It has happened to me before in Oman, I paid the motorist then. But I said a polite ‘no’ this time.”

Another resident, a hotel worker on Shaikh Zayed Road, said he gave Dh70 to a driver in “a really nice car.”

“I don’t know what make and model it was but it was really nice and low to the ground. I knew he could be lying, but I gave him the money anyway,” the worker said.

Such encounters are not unheard of in Dubai but residents said the incidents have recently increased on Shaikh Zayed Road.

A senior Dubai Police official urged residents to report such cases as the practice is considered illegal begging.

“If people are in genuine need there are proper channels for help. Asking people on the street for money is begging and it doesn’t matter if he or she is driving a luxury car or walking around,” Colonel Ali Ahmad Ganem, director of Bur Dubai Police Station, told Gulf News.

“This kind of activity usually increases in the build-up to Ramadan when professional beggars try to take advantage of residents’ generosity.”

He added that Dubai Police will shortly launch a “Fight Begging” campaign to coincide with Ramadan.

“We urge the public to help us counter this phenomenon of begging. It is illegal and those found guilty will be deported and banned from re-entering the UAE,” said Colonel Ganem.

“Some people come to the UAE simply to beg, especially close to Ramadan. It is not acceptable behaviour and I urge residents to report such cases.”

Comments (122)

  1. Added 19:15 July 1, 2013

    if these are really genuine cases i feel the border force guarding UAE should giving the tourists contact no.s for urgent needs like these...

    Stan, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 19:11 July 1, 2013

    this has happened to me atleast 3 times with the same reason previously...curiously all of them said they were from Oman (and all Oman regd saloon cars)...if i remember right all of them were probably from a lower middle class background and in all cases they had their family with them...i politely declined but still fail to understand why as they will must surely know their budgets before starting ...

    stan, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 18:44 July 1, 2013

    Salam'alikum guys, First thing is not to entertain such people. And if you are very kind hearted, give a small amount (lets say 10 Dhs) and if the guys ask for more then its a sign that they are corrupt. I had a similar experience around 4 years back, when I was returning from the Masjid in the evening. A guy stopped by with his "luxury car" and had a familiar story, I told him I don't have my wallet as I went to offer my prayers and the guy started arguing that how could I leave without my wallet, etc. Anyways, I didn't give him anything, as I really didn't have my wallet. My recommendation is not to feel bad in denying them any help, if you are of a helping nature, then there are many ways of helping the needy and the poor; for which we have, fortunately in the UAE, many right sources. God bless you all.

    Sayeeduddin Mohammed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:40 July 1, 2013

    Recently, it happened to me when I was coming out from Fruit & Vegetable Market on 25th June, 2013. A Saudi national driving 4x4 full option down my building requested me to stop. I was having the feeling that he might have lost the way but he asked me that he is out of money and if I can help him. I gave him 200AED

    usman, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 18:23 July 1, 2013

    Same thing happened with me also last year from Ajman sanaya. The guy requested some money for fuel and food. Vehicle registration number is Oman , I made a story and said that i am going for cancel can u please help me for issuing ticket etc ..Then he left soon ....

    Fahad, Ajman, India

  6. Added 17:49 July 1, 2013

    Happened to me in Tecom, two Saudi men, they also had a child sitting on the armrest in the middle of the car, no seatbelts on any of them. Their story was terrible, so I politely advised them to get money transfered to money exchange or get their credit card limit increased (and for the child to be in a child seat in the back as per UAE law). Why should i give money to people who have spent excessively and obviously have cash, you'd have to be an idiot to give them anything.

    simon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 17:32 July 1, 2013

    it is very normal here in KSA. Now these guys have extended their 'Business' till UAE :)

    Fouad, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  8. Added 17:01 July 1, 2013

    This has happened to us near NMC Hospital and it was during Ramadan. When I parked the car, immediately a car parked beside it and a guy wearing condura said he was from saudi and his relative died which he has to pay for some stuff to bring the body back to Saudi. When I tried to reach for my pocket, I only have 100aed. I gave it to him and to my surprise he wanted MORE money! I told him, that's the only money I have left. I think as Expats here, we became too fearful and we tend to always be on the safe side especially dealing with locals or an arab wearing a condura. The next time I encounter this, I would simply say ''I will call the police to help you''

    JR, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 16:20 July 1, 2013

    Guysss..... the same thing happened with me a year ago, behind Zulekha Hospital, Al Nahda Dubai, a black Mercedes S series with Dubai number plate, old egyptian man near 60s age, well suited. He said he is out of money for petrol and food because hotel charged him extra. and so he fooled me too..

    Yousaf, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 16:14 July 1, 2013

    Was victim of it. outside Nissan Showroom near Deira City Center. Was a neighbour country number plate. Gave him a decent amount. But won't do if come across someone in future.

    Shahid Iqbal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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