Visiting cards offering massage services truck on car the windshield or window. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: There was a time when you might be surprised to find the odd business card promoting a particular massage parlour under your windshield wiper.

Now, in corners across Dubai, there are days when workers leaving offices aren’t surprised to find up to half a dozen cards splashed across their car under windshield wipers and tucked into window areas.

The increase in the number of massage cards being placed on cars and at apartment doors has become extremely bothersome to many residents in the city, who believe the practice needs to stop.

Speaking earlier to Gulf News, a senior official at the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) explained that advertising on business cards is illegal, and as per an agreement between the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Interior, companies are not permitted to have employees distribute business cards on streets.

“Our inspectors sometimes pose as customers to confirm whether any illegal activities take place and, based on that, the inspectors will then take appropriate action, in addition to imposing fines,” he said.

However, people living in Tecom, International City and Media City in particular have noticed that nothing has changed.

Every time they park their car in these areas, at any given time of the day, they notice a number of Chinese expatriates roaming between parking lots and placing the cards on different cars.

Mohammad Sameer, an International City resident, said that the amount of cards he finds on a daily basis has increased in the past two to three months from three to almost seven cards every day, with nothing being done to stop the card distributors.

“No one has done anything to stop those Chinese men from doing this. I really don’t understand why is it that hard to track them down and arrest them,” Sameer said.

Sameer added that he has also been seeing the same men sneaking into his building and leaving the cards at apartment doors, sometimes with X-rated pictures printed on them.

“There are a lot of children living around here and they shouldn’t be seeing such pictures. I once walked up to the man and confiscated the cards from him because I was sick of seeing this happening, but there was no use of doing that because he still had a hundred more in his bag.”

Another frustrated resident living in Tecom said that he has been facing the same issue in his area and has seen it happening not only in Tecom but also in Media City.

“If I leave my car parked in Tecom for less than 10 minutes, I end up getting five or 10 cards depending on the time of the day,” said Abdul Majeed Al Mojalid.

“The pictures on those cards prove that they are prostitution centres. I’m actively against human trafficking and if these people are aiding human trafficking, they should be stopped right away,” Al Mojalid said.

Al Mojalid, like Sameer, also attempted to stop the men from distributing the cards by chasing after them and asking them to stop what they were doing, but he said that they would pretend that they don’t speak English and then immediately run away.