Police will not curb freedom, says Al Mazeina

Dubai Police do not restrict people's freedom, but there are red lines that must not be crossed, senior official tells Gulf News in exclusive interview.

  • Exploring synergies: Major General Khamis Al Mazeina makes a point during his interview with Gulf News. Image Credit:Devadasan/Gulf News
  • Major General Khamis Al Mazeina; Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, Major General Abdul Rahman Rafi'a (fifth frImage Credit:Sankha Kar/XPRESS
Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Police do not restrict the freedom of the diverse communities here, but there are red lines that must not be crossed because the UAE, an Islamic Arab country, prides itself in its rich values, said a senior official.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview that it is not the duty of police to interrogate or interfere with couples in Dubai, but if they are spotted committing obscene actions then they will intervene.

His comments come after several incidents of public indecency, which prompted the British Foreign Office to issue a travel advisory for its citizens.

"I think it is clear to the average person what is meant by obscene. There are red lines that must not be crossed. The country has its values and traditions which cannot be overlooked to satisfy others," Al Mazeina said.

The slight increase in financial crimes, he said, is not related to the financial crisis.

"We had cases of forged credit cards from abroad which were used in Dubai. Dubai Police have urged banks to issue credit cards with pin codes for all transactions to reduce counterfeit cases," he said.

Al Mazeina said traffic fines have been raised because tougher fines help reduce accidents.

He said a Dh100 or Dh200 fine was not a deterrent because living standards are high here. Now a single fine can amount to Dh1,000. Statistics show that tougher fines and more radars have reduced accidents significantly.

He also quashed rumours that Chechen commander Sulim Yamadayev who was shot in March in the car park of an apartment block in Dubai is still alive. Yam-adayev was a foe of Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

In response to a report by a British newspaper, he stressed that Somali pirates' money is not laundered through Dubai. The Independent said vast sums of ransom money that the pirates received were laundered in Dubai and other GCC countries.

He said some sections want to tarnish the image of the UAE by spreading vicious rumours.

Your comments

some people just feel that they are out of law and they can do anything.This must be scrutinised so that a culture and tradition can be saved .
Posted: June 22, 2009, 14:53

Major Khamis is very much right.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 14:23

True and fine...... Freedom is given to enjoy but utilising it an obscene manner is wrong. U cannot find this freedom elsewhere
Posted: June 22, 2009, 14:01

i totally agree BUT as a foreigner i believe the a hand book should be handed over to all residents upon arrival in UAE in order to make sure rules and regulations are not miseed. We as foreigners should have the necessary documentation in order to don't commit any crime with or without knowledegment if happens opften to do some mistake if you are not aware of the rules against your wish.
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 13:47

Freedom doesn't mean creaking the line of a country and it's principle All countries have its own traditional ethics people who live and visit must be follow and respect that culture
Moi Al Deen Kutyy C K
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 13:04

Mr. Khamis is right if they are giving us freedom then we should not misuse and always there is a tough penalty to cross a border(limits)
Posted: June 22, 2009, 13:04

Dubai police is second to none when efficiency matters. They never offend anyone..Major Khamis is 100% correct and let us all strive towards making Dubai a more safe and better place to live in.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 13:04

Once all respect and value others culture than , no crime and friendly atmosphere.
Farooq Khawaja
Posted: June 22, 2009, 12:35

What are the red lines, it should be exposed to the people so that they may be aware of that.
Mohammad Dilshad
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 12:29

It is important to take care of the values of any country. It is not fair to say we are like this in our country and we will behave that way here too. The Major must be given full support.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:57

Dear SirAll nationalities have keep minimum quality of decency if they visit or travel to work abroad, and obey the rules and regulations.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:50

As an expat i have worked in several countries and when i compare to what Dubai has to offer, i would say the government does not restrict any freedom at all. One should always remember to respect the culture and the traditional values of a visiting country and the outside press should really stop the negative write up about Dubai.
Faiz Sharif
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:42

Well done Major Khamis!.. It should make people aware of islamic rules and red lines. Authorities should give pamphlets to all class of people to be aware of UAE culture especially public obscene and dressing. People should not wear dress above knees whether ladies or gents in public
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:35

Freedom is responsibility. In the name of freedom, irresponsible behaviour should never be allowed to penetrate into the value systems of any society.
Reuben Smile
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:31

I 100% agree, it'll be good also to control the way people are dressed especially in shopping malls. We are seing many women being dressed in very revealing ways. Who would like their children to see such things in malls?
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:20

its our moral duty that one should keep in limits, fines are only to make you fine.
Shahzad Shaikh
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:19

i think UAE is most secure and have enough freedom. People have to follow the rules of the countries were they are living doesn't matter which nations they are. UAE rules are very efficient for reducing the crimes.
Ajmal M
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:18

Foreign visitors are fine about their ignorance, but what about people who have been staying here for more than a six months and above. We all know this is an Islamic country and we should be happy that in Dubai atleast you are getting freedoms. Stop cribbing and enjoy the given freedom and respect the country's values and tradition as how you do in your own country.
Posted: June 22, 2009, 11:12

Unfortunately, some expats show some daring behavior which reflects disrespect to other conservative cultures. I do not understand why can't they hold thier feelings untill they reach home. I think it is only motivated by the will to dare the society.
Saad Jasim
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 10:57

Posted: June 22, 2009, 10:42

we all want to appreciate Dubai Police Really good and very very frindly police. service support and helping
Posted: June 22, 2009, 10:14

Yes totally agreed! Major General is very rite in his words. There is a tradition and a well owned culture here in Dubai and all over UAE, its one of a very safe place to live, i request public not to harm this place please. Arab culture has its very old and true values and so is religion here and is very rightly safegurded also by the authorities. Yes there is always a red line which SHOULD NEVER BE CROSSED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. and remember one more thing know before you go because its a law itself that IGNORANCE OF LAW IS NO EXCUSE..I request all to avoid indecency in everyform. Give respect, earn respect!Thanks
Posted: June 22, 2009, 10:13

It's true, there are newspapers that aim to tarnish the UAE's reputation with bad journalism. We are a proud Islamic Arab country and as a local I don't want the corrupt influence to damage our lifestyle and culture.
Abdullah Al Harbi
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 10:08

Ya ikhwan. What about all the naked men in every single changing room of every single gym in the UAE. Signs are everywhere so they are clearly steping on our customs as they are long time members so they cannot say they never saw the signs.
Ibn Abdullah
Posted: June 22, 2009, 09:56

While the intentions are good, I really feel that the means to achieve this intention is very vague to a lot of UAE inhabitants. Does the police have a clear-cut definition of an otherwise very relative and very cultural and environmentally-specific concept that is, "obscenity?" For what may be obcene to others may just be normal to some... I think the UAE needs to come-up with specific regulations of what behaviors are still within the parameters that are considered still permissable.
Derek Garcia
Posted: June 22, 2009, 09:25

As an expartiate and being a Lawyer, I have visited may police stations in GCC, and have experienced diferent attitudes. But Dubai police is different. I am very much proud of Dubai police, keep it up.My best regards
Posted: June 22, 2009, 09:12

Where people follow Islamic rules and respect each other and do not cross the red line there will be a peaceful atmosphere and very little crime
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: June 22, 2009, 08:23

the major khamis is right 100%
Ahmed Abbas
Posted: June 22, 2009, 06:06