Dubai is also the name of a city in the emirate of Dubai, well-known around the world for landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab hotel, the Burj Khalifa tallest building in the world ; sporting events such as the Dubai Tennis Championships. And infamous for less appealing issues such as jail sentences for kissing in Dubai , and companies such as Dubai World swimming in debt after over-enthusiastic purchases of expensive assets around the world in the mid- to lates.
Activities, entertainment and events in Dubai Things to do in Dubai - list of clubs, sports, hobbies, and other activities Art and culture in Dubai Al Fahidi Fort Art galleries in Dubai - list of art galleries, locations, and brief description Bastakiya Quarter , Bur Dubai - good selection of art galleries an a restored historical area. Also a couple of cafes and boutique hotels. A particularly nasty incident was reported in August Three brothers allegedly attacked a pregnant woman and her husband in a shopping mall in June over a disagreement about a seating arrangement.
The woman received treatment in a hospital for a dislocated jaw and ended up with permanent facial injuries, and her husband was beaten unconscious. Another man who attempted to intervene was also threatened and beaten. Two of the three accused did not appear at a court hearing in August , and the one who did, denied the charges. The next hearing is on 14 October This abhorrent and traumatic incident stands out not just because of the vicious nature of the attack, but also because it is so unusual.
Residents and visitors to Dubai shopping malls are not usually physically assaulted by someone if they don't like where they are sitting. To give some idea of perspective in terms of what crimes the UAE considers to be more serious than others, a day or so earlier the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced a 15 year old boy to up to 3 years in juvenile detention for sexual assault as punishment for allegedly kissing two 12 year old sisters the father of the sisters made the complaint ; and the two girls were charged with the same offence but the verdict was to deliver them to their parents for disciplining.
So in the UAE, the conclusion one might come to is that it is much cheaper in jail time terms to beat someone up rather than kissing them.
Pickpocket theft in Dubai is becoming a problem in apparently, with men or perhaps women occasionally dressed in abayas the long black garmet that is traditionally worn by UAE and Gulf national women with their faces covered, sticking their hands into victims' pockets and handbags to steal their wallets and other belongings.
This happens mostly in shopping centers and other crowded locations. Emirates reported on 17 December about the increasing number of thefts, and that due to the sensitivity in the UAE about male security guards and police searching apparently female suspects, it is difficult for victims to report a crime successfully.
This story is not entirely new. Several years previously there were reports of similar crimes in Dubai. Be careful rather than be afraid would be an appropriate comment. Dubai is a long way from Amsterdam on the pickpocket threat scale, at least for now. And hopefully the authorities will overcome their timidness at dealing with men disguised as Emirati women before the problem escalates. Advice to visitors and residents is to be alert if someone dressed in an abaya is standing or walking very close to you, especially if you are male.
Genuine Emirati and Gulf Arab women will almost always keep a significant distance from men who they are not related to or married to. Theft in Dubai Property theft from cars, apartments, villas, is uncommon but does exist, especially villas during the summer when many residents leave for several weeks.
Car theft is relatively uncommon. When it does happen, it is usually because owners leaver the car unattended with the motor running while they go and do an errand. Road rules in Dubai Road rules in Dubai sometimes seem inconsistent or odd, and inconsistently enforced, to say the least. Traffic offences receive punishments that seem disproportionate to the potential danger level of the offence.
For example, a police sergeant doing some two-wheel driving and other stunts in a large 4wd on a major Dubai highway Sheikh Zayed Road received a fine of AED in July In the same month in Dubai, a different motorist who made a rude hand gesture at another driver received a one month jail sentence.
So the message seems to be that you can drive with no respect for other road users, but at least be polite about it. Financial crime and fraud in Dubai Financial crime, extortion, fraud, money laundering, etc exists and there are various ways people can be, and are, scammed or conned out of money.
For example bogus or abandoned property ventures, fraudulent job advertisements, con artists performing magic tricks to double your money or similar activities. Cheque fraud and bad debts - many residents discovered in that bouncing a check in Dubai could cost them some jail time. The recipient of a bounced check is entitled to report the signer of the check including company executives with signing authority to the police, who can then arrest the signer. The amount is irrelevent in terms of the crime of check fraud, however the jail term might be longer if the amount was larger.
Drugs in Dubai Drugs in Dubai are a problem but not as significant as in many other countries. Gang warfare and drug cartels don't really have much of a foothold in Dubai, at least not as far as the general public is concerned. The biggest issue for most residents and visitors will be the possibility of spending a few years in jail if caught with substances illegal in the UAE but not in their home country some over-the-counter pain killers such as codeine for example , or failing a drug test in the UAE after partaking of something in another country smoking a joint at an Amsterdam coffee shop for example.
Sex crimes and kidnapping in Dubai Sex crimes in Dubai and kidnapping - Dubai and the UAE authorities are attempting to deal with the sex trade. Women are lured to the UAE under false pretences for example for seemingly respectable jobs , locked away and forced to serve as prostitutes. The kidnapping of, or at least the deception of, women for this trade usually occurs in other countries rather than in the UAE itself, although it has happened in the UAE also.
The point being that generally women in the UAE do not have to fear being abducted under normal everyday circumstances. But unfortunate incidents do occasionally happen so as a parent, don't be entirely complacent. Prostitution is illegal but exists. Many bars and nightclubs in Dubai will have a few ladies that are ready to be your new friend for a price, and it is not uncommon for men to be propositioned on the street in some areas.
Or for women to be asked at what price they are available. For women, this type of question, whilst offensive, is not usually threatening - the enquirer can normally be dismissed or ignored. Kidnapping for financial gain is rare. If or when it does happen, it seems to be more likely to do with arguments over debts.
For example, in July , three Bangladeshi labourers appeared in court on a charge of kidnapping as a result of them bundling one of their colleagues into a car and allegedly holding him to ransom. The colleague had apparently borrowed AED and not paid it back. The gang were arrested after Dubai Police tracked down mobile phone numbers from the licence plate which had been spotted by a security guard and asked them to visit the police station, which they did, with the victim in the car reported in 7 Days 12 July There are occasional reports of both men and women being taken off the street against their will, and abused and raped.
Sometimes these stories make it to the press, sometimes they don't, sometimes there's a question mark about what really happened. It's something to be aware of rather than frightened of, the reality is that Dubai is probably far safer for most people than how it sounds listening to horror stories that all the old-timers tell the newbies.
All the same, keep your wits about you, and if you're standing drunk outside a bar at 3 am, it's probably wiser to take a taxi than to accept a lift home from those 4 hungry looking guys in the big 4wd that just pulled up.
What women should be aware of is that although rape is a crime in the UAE, so is having sex outside marriage. And it seems to be a bit of a lottery as to whether police and the courts will treat the rape or the sex as a more serious crime. Reporting a rape can be seen as an admission of having had sex, and so the police officers listening to the victim might lock up the complainant instead of treating her as a victim of a crime.
This situation results in women being apprehensive about reporting a rape. If you are a victim of rape, you could consider going to a hospital first to at least be sure of getting a medical exam before being locked up. And get a good lawyer as soon as possible. Bizarrely, there was even a case in where the rapist was punished for rape, and the woman was punished for having sex.
This paragraph is not intended to put women or men - yes it has happened off from reporting a rape. Rapists are punished by the courts, and the UAE is aware of the anomaly, but sadly, change for the better sometimes takes a while. Emirates other than Dubai seem to be more likely to treat the offence of having sex outside marriage as being more serious than the rape offence, especially Sharjah. One rumour is that it is easier to prosecute, given that the potential offender has by default admitted to the crime by reporting the rape.
Bloomberg 30 March Updated in October to growth of about 0. Update 26 Sep Reuters: IMF estimated contraction of 1. Education and educational institutes in Dubai.