The United Arab Emirates’ Public Prosecution announced that those who are caught begging will be fined AED 5,000 ($1361.28) and imprisoned for up to three months, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported Tuesday.
The Public Prosecution explained that begging is defined as solicitation aimed at obtaining financial or in-kind benefits while organized begging is performed by organized groups of two or more persons, according to WAM.
“Punishments will be tougher if a beggar is healthy and has a source of income, has faked an injury or permanent impairment or used any other means to deceive people with the aim of obtaining benefits,” WAM stated.
Those who operate gangs of beggars or recruit people from outside the UAE to work as beggars can face imprisonment of over six months and a minimum fine of AED100,000 ($27,225.66).
WAM said the announcement came as part of the Public Prosecution’s campaign to improve the “public’s legal culture and raise their awareness, including about the importance of not begging during the Holy Month of Ramadan.”