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12 November, 2005

Passionate police prose

Anyone getting bored of the local newspapers can find a wealth of first rate literature at the Dubai Police website:

"It was that thin line between reality and hallucination that was lost from this group. They were under the Marijuana influence , going high in their fascinations and rejoicing with this intoxication sense .They went too far to keep this sense , deciding to provide their own supplement of this narcotic plant , even if it means growing it in their own accommodation. The Anti-Narcotics officials in Dubai Police, nevertheless , were leading a surveillance, watching the group of men pampering the weed and awaiting for it to grow .The Force dropped in just on time , before the weed turning into blue smoke ."

Click on Criminal Investigation Record then Archive Cases for more crime thrillers. These are no mere, dry crime reports such as might be churned out by a staid and uninspired UK constabulary, but beautifully crafted pieces of literary art:

"It was one of those ordinary hot days in July , 2nd , 2005 when the personnel in the jewelry shop located in Al Maktoum main road came to open it as usual at 9:00 am .They were shocked to find out that a thievery took place , someone broke into the shop at night and managed to steal Dhs ( 2,400,000) million worth of famous trademark wristwatches , sunglasses and golden necklaces ."

As in any good detective novel, evil shall never prevail!

"Their dreams of fast wealth increased with every blow on the safe. They went high with much great expectations , only to fell down& shatter on the ground of reality. When opening the safe they found a small purse ,Inside it a sum of 500 Dhs only. Was it worth it to spare a soul for 500 Dhs."

The "O, mindly people consider!" section contains some superb photography. Or brush up your "Traffic Principles and Decipline." And if you really want to help Dubai Police, there's a gallery of Most Wanted suspects featuring some truly superb moustaches.

For those trembling in their beds after reading so much villainry, fear not! According to Dubai Police, no criminal is ever left un-caught:

"The modus operandi that criminals use is varies, some times it is very extensive and sophisticated. Yet it must fall into an inevitable fate, leading perpetrators into the hands of justice."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the 'news' archive... The stupidity is astounding. Do you feel safe?

12 November, 2005 06:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you spell 'incompetence'?

Sunday 28/03/2004
A car run over
Today at 11:40 am the oprations room has received a phone call informs about a woman has been collided by a car on abu hail road near al manama junction . police patrol and ambulance has been sent right immedately to the location of the accident , after investigation , they realized that the woman was crossing the road from an non zebra crossing area . after doing the first aid the injured woman , she has been delivered to the hospital by police ambulance to take the necessary treatment .

12 November, 2005 06:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always been a fan of Dubai Police.. however, I've had one incident where I was less than delighted with their response. I was on a tow truck (had to tow my car after my spare went flat) going back from Al Ain. Another tow truck was harassing us, almost causing a fatal accident.. swerving back and forth trying to make us stop. Long story why the other tow truck was doing that, but in either case, I dialed 999.

After waiting for someone to pick up, I pleaded that they send someone over where we were, as I was afraid for my life.. the situation was becoming too dangerous as the other tow truck driver seemed to have no regard for his life or ours. I was politely told to call an 800 number which never picked up.

Jee, thanks. Next time I'm in such a situation, I'll take the law into my own hands.

12 November, 2005 08:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah Dubai police..........If it was for the kindness of Lieutenant Jumaa, he was so helpful and so preoccupied with helping my wife in and out of the car........He even called to check everyone was OK at home

12 November, 2005 09:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understand now why you need to have an Arabic translator when you visit them, they obviously ddo not speak English but do not deem it important although it is the most widely spoken language in the country

12 November, 2005 09:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was most impressed with state of the art rehabilitation center reserved only for locals between the ages of 18 and 40, Daily programs et all.....
Wonderful, when you think that for admitting to being a drugg user an expat would automatically get 4 years in jail......

Fair justice?

12 November, 2005 09:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

say what you will, but the Dubai police are amongst the fairest and effective i've seen.

i'm not saying efficient, because right now the sheer volume of people means that efficiency will suffer, but let's just say in solving minor issues a lot of common sense is used and kudos to them for that !!

12 November, 2005 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another kick ass, classic SD find! The website bloody rocks! Absolutely hilarious... They need an urban superhero or something... kinda like a batman in a dishdash!

Now that would take the website to the next level!!

12 November, 2005 11:51  
Blogger samuraisam said...

say what you will, but the Dubai police are amongst the fairest and effective i've seen.

you obviously haven't seen many legal systems.

12 November, 2005 12:29  
Blogger secretdubai said...

It was actually samuraisam who discovered these gems.

Honestly, I am quite impressed by the articles. They clearly speak very little English, but are making a real effort. And the writer obviously has talent - it's probably not the most appropriate style for police reporting - but there's definitely flair and imagination.

I bet the original Arabic is superbly written.

12 November, 2005 13:57  
Blogger samuraisam said...

pity etisalat brushed up on their skills long ago;
i recall stories of their website with the message
We are up your service
(not far from the truth (: )

12 November, 2005 14:23  
Blogger kingfisher said...

Very droll SD... and very funny. Well done to locate this awful 'arabish'. Thanks to samurai...
Has anyone noticed how poor an example the police in Dubai actually set for the public in terms of motoring competence?
In my experience, in countries with the 'rule of law', (in itself a debatable concept), it is forbidden to excede the speed limit, period. Police are exempt only in dire emergencies with mitigating circumstances. However, here in Dubai one frequently observes police cars cruising in the fast lane, exceeding the posted limit, without the lights or siren on, blissfully unaware...
Or, has anyone else noticed that the police often use mobile phones whilst at the wheel, which I believe it at least 'not recommended', if not outright against traffic law...

12 November, 2005 14:57  
Blogger Mindazi said...



12 November, 2005 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We await a blog on the capping of the rent increases to a maximum of 15%. Just been announced today.

12 November, 2005 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The problem with you juveniles is that you turn criticism into a fine art. At least the Dubai cops are making an effort in their public awareness efforts. So what if the English is not as perfect as you would like it to be ? Now if some of you fools could write or converse in Arabic at just a fraction's competency level - now that would be something !

Go getta life

12 November, 2005 18:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only difference being if were to write a paragraph of arabic we wouldnt be getting paid for it now would we, that website is supposed to serve as an informational source for english speaking people (there is an entirely different arabic section).

12 November, 2005 18:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...going high in their fascinations and rejoicing with this intoxication sense..."

"...pampering the weed and awaiting for it to grow"

"..a thievery took place"

"They went high with much great expectations , only to fell down& shatter on the ground of reality."

Damn, never figured those guys at Dubai Police were crime-writers, not just crime-fighters. Some of those lines even sound sexually suggestive.


12 November, 2005 19:28  
Blogger snow white said...

I'm actually a major fan of the Dubai Police after they appended a evil skulldugger (is that a word? perhaps in DP archives ...) who stole my wallet and then used my credit cards to the tune of 12k. The police were extremely helpful, sympathetic, humorous and caught the guy instantly. All credit to the Boys in Bur Dubai Blue.

12 November, 2005 20:28  
Blogger moryarti said...

its actually Bur Dubai kaki green :P

12 November, 2005 20:33  
Blogger samuraisam said...

snow white did you actually get your money back?

i know people who've had their wallets stolen, and some dodgy mfkr goes to the local mobile shop and drops 8 grand on a bunch of mobiles, their is no liability for the bank or some crap, and the shop owner doesnt check the signature or anything. stupid system. Of course, none of the places he shopped had video cameras, so he escaped, and left someone with a big hole in their pocket.

12 November, 2005 20:40  
Blogger secretdubai said...

samuraisam - what is most sickening here is that not only do shop assistants not bother to check the signature half the time, they don't even bother to check the gender. A man can pay for goods with a clearly female card, and they'll do nothing.

Now in a "normal" country one might have a case against the shop for negligence, and the credit card company would take an extremely dim view of that retailer. But here in this bastion of consumer rights? *words fail*

12 November, 2005 21:21  
Blogger samuraisam said...

SD the uae community email thing has seized functioning!

and yes it is getting rather pathetic in dubai, it's not the people that do it i blame, its the banks for making it such an efficient way to steal money without getting caught.

12 November, 2005 21:26  
Blogger moryarti said...

i agree with sam on this one.

It takes 6 weeks to clear a credit card dispute with any bank in the UAE - why so long? In comparison to the rest of the world, UAE banking sector, (and the rest of the middle east for that matter), are being outrageously slow with EMV migration and the BASEL II accords - which makes credit card companies jobs to settle disputes a more difficult one, and of course the consumer more venerable to card thefts, scams and whatnot ..

12 November, 2005 22:00  
Blogger Dee said...

"say what you will, but the Dubai police are amongst the fairest and effective i've seen"

I am going to take this as someone's attempt at humour.
You scored an A for that!

13 November, 2005 08:32  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 November, 2005 00:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the UAE credit card fraud.

In many cases you can forget the bank, it's irrelevant. The bank is (usually) just a franchisee of the credit card company. If you have, say, a VISA or MasterCard, what is important is the terms of the cardholder agreement and the terms of the merchant agreement that the store has with the credit card company.

Merchant agreements for international credit card companies are standard right around the world. If you have a MasterCard, you're entitled to the same protections whether the merchant accepting the card is in New York or New Delhi.

The cardholder agreement does vary somewhat from country to country, e.g. Irish Visa cards carry some different protections that do U.S. cards. I don't know specifically about the UAE, but I believe you'll find, however, that there are strict limits on liability for fraudulent use of a major credit card no matter where the card is issued.

14 November, 2005 01:54  
Blogger samuraisam said...

In the UAE it is different, it has been covered by the papers occasionaly, but that was several years ago.
The banks as in NBD or whatever apparantly dont accept any liability; not too sure, i only own a savings card, but i know someone close who got a whole lot of money stolen.

14 November, 2005 04:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a couple of different things to keep straight. First, there's the difference between the bank and the credit card company. With a true credit card (more on this later) the issuing bank is responsible for collecting from you -- you make your monthly payment to them. The bank sets the interest rate, annual charges, etc. The bank is also responsible for advancing the money to pay the merchants that you bought things from.

The credit card company is responsible for seeing the merchant gets paid. The merchant submits its invoices for payment to the credit card company which then collects from the various banks. It's the credit card company, therefore, that is responsible for verifying that the merchant's charges are accurate and it is the credit card company that controls what anti-fraud measurers participating merchants must take. It is, therefore, the credit card company that has rules protecting credit card owners from fraud since they (not the bank) can reverse charges (or simply refuse to pay) when charges are fraudulent.

Credit cards are different than debit cards and typically provide greater protection for consumers. Debit cards suck cash directly out of your account using, say, VISA's electronic payment system. But the cash is credited almost instantly to the merchant. By contrast credit card invoices submitted by merchants may not be settled for 60 days or more. There is, therefore, much greater opportunity for the credit card company to limit losses to fraud.

(NB If there is some sort of local in-country electronic payment system, all bets are off!)

Having said that, big credit card companies still have rules for use of their electronic payment systems. Read you agreement carefully. (DO NOT simply take what either the issuing bank or the credit card company tells you at face value!) You will likely find that you are not responsible for the fraudulent use of your account, even with a debit card.

Once again, rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But, because of the international nature of many electronic payment systems, certain basic rules tend to hold true more than you might otherwise expect.

15 November, 2005 04:27  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anonymous@4.27 - that you for that information (I'm guessing you work in finance?)

One other issue here - related probably to what you say about "the bank is also responsible for advancing the money to pay the merchants " is the fact that many etailers won't accept credit cards issues in the UAE. Nor will PayPal - though that's probably a blessing in disguise, given their astoundingly un-wonderful customer service and security issues.

So it can be immensely frustrating when Amazon accepts your card, but another etailer doesn't. I can't understand why they don't even offer a "first purchase delayed" system - ie wait 30-60 days until the credit card transaction has gone through before mailing you your goods (there are some things like rare books I would be fine to wait for) to 100% verify your card, but they don't.

15 November, 2005 09:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Actually, these etailers aren't worried about the banks, they're worried about fraud and, to a lesser extent, money laundering.

When a merchant (especially an etailer) takes a bad card, there's a good chance that the transaction will get reversed and charged back to the merchant. Many merchants will refuse to accept credit cards issued in countries that are perceived to have a high risk of fraud especially for transactions that aren't conducted face-to-face. (You'd have to check the specific merchant agreement but I believe that credit card companies generally require merchants to always accept cards in face-to-face transactions, regardless of where they are issued.)

Keeping all that in mind, it's actually much more likely that the etailers are not refusing to accept your UAE-issued card because it was issued in the UAE but because you currently live in the UAE. Once again, certain countries are perceived as being at great risk for fraud. If you happen to be living in Nigeria, good luck calling up some Toshiba dealer in the U.S. and ordering two-dozen laptops, even if (especially if!) your credit card was in issued in the States.

In other words, they're not so much refusing to accept your credit card as they are refusing to accept you as a client because you live in a high-fraud area.

16 November, 2005 04:58  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm interested in your conversation cause I've actually been a victim of stolen credit card. I have made a supplementary card for my sister and it was stolen in July in lebanon. We reported it within less than 24 hours, but the theif had already charged more than 8000 Dhs on it in less than a few hours, in Lebanon, Syria, and the Duty free between Syria and Jordan. I disputed the charges, but the issuing bank (Citibank) is saying that it is my liability and that I should pay the whole amount. Altough banks here claim "Zero liability on lost card", they have a whole different definition for it than what is in the US. Here zero liability, they claim, is only applicable after the card is reported stolen.
I was told I have to follow the issue with the merchants myself. We made a police report and I requested the bank to get me the receipts but still get them so far and i don't know how i can get them myself. The issue has dragged for so long and my bill is only getting bigger with the bank's interest and finance charges! I have no idea what to do next. But it's truly outrageous that consumers have absolutely no protection here in UAE!

31 January, 2006 17:00  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Dan - really sorry to hear about your card. I wish I could offer advice, but I really don't know what you should do. I would suggest making as much nuisance of yourself as possible with Citibank, keep writing letters and going to see them in person. Sometimes they'll reduce the bill just to get rid of the hassle for themselves.

And do write to consumer and travel magazines about your concerns, warning other tourists. And cc these letters to Citibank.

31 January, 2006 17:11  

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