File image of a woman begging outside a mosque for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: As part of its concerted efforts against begging, Abu Dhabi Police arrested a number of beggars in recent months, including a woman seeking alms despite driving a luxury vehicle.

The authorities caught 159 beggars in the emirate between November 6 and December 12, 2022.

The police warned that many individuals and groups have been found amassing large sums of money by begging, and therefore urged residents to instead make donations through registered organisations only.


In Abu Dhabi, begging is considered a punishable act, with individual offenders fined Dh5,000, and given minimum jail term of three months. Harsher penalties, including a minimum Dh100,000 fine and a six-month jail term, apply for organising begging activity.

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Electronic begging

The penalties are also applicable for cases of begging online, in which people share pleas over social media, text messages, emails, or web portals. The pleas commonly include fraudulent tales about “unfortunate orphans” or people who are “sick”, or claim that funds collects will be used for “community support”.