Abu Dhabi: Residents are angry over receiving text messages advertising women for sexual services.
One resident said he had received an SMS which said a 28-year-old Lebanese girl born and raised in Abu Dhabi is ready to offer sex for money.
"I received several such indecent messages from the same number. The messages said a company operates in Abu Dhabi and they offer girls of different Arab nationalities. The messages have a contact number," the Emirati said. He said such messages are deplorable and unacceptable.
"I wonder how etisalat allows such messages to reach people. They should monitor all messages and block indecent ones," he said.
"It is against our traditions and religion. Even in Europe and other countries which allow such companies to operate, these kinds of messages will not be allowed to reach people's mobile phones," he said.
Another irritated woman said her husband had received these messages inviting him to have sex with young Arab girls in Abu Dhabi. "I tried to contact the company several times but no one is responding," she said. "etisalat should prevent people from sending these messages and they should monitor the content of them."
Umm Ahmad, another resident, said: "I wonder how such things could happen here. It is really disgusting."
An official from Abu Dhabi Police said yesterday people who receive these messages can complain to the police.
"Police will take action and will investigate the case.
"Those proved to be involved in these messages will be punished as per the law," he said.
Need licence to operate service
Ahmad Bin Ali, Deputy Director of the Communications department at etisalat, said it allows licensed companies to send advertisements to customers.
"This is called Bulk SMS and etisalat will offer the service only to licensed commercial and advertisement companies. A four-digit number is given to the company to send SMS," he said.
"The messages must not offend the morals and traditions of the UAE and they must not be sent late at night or early in the morning.
"Those who offend any of our conditions will be warned and the services will be blocked."
However, while etisalat offers the service it cannot monitor the content of the messages and is not responsible for the company or the content being sent to users.
However, if someone complains, etisalat will take action.