Everyone knows that Dubai is an extremely rich city, but many do not know that it is so rich that even beggars can earn a small fortune begging for alms. It is such a profitable "business" that people legally enter the United Arab Emirates on a three-month travel visa. The only purpose is to line up your pockets by begging in the streets.
Some of these so-called "professional beggars" can earn up to 270,000 dirhams, equal to about 60,000 euros per month. Stories of professional beggars exploiting the generosity of Dubai's (very) wealthy citizens are well known throughout the country. Despite the assiduous efforts of the local police to eradicate the practice, it is still a rather widespread phenomenon.
The job of the beggars in Dubai
Reports of beggars earning big bucks in Dubai through begging have encouraged many people to do the same. Some sources report that there would now be Arab and Asian gangs bringing the beggars to Dubai legally and then taking most of their earnings. Begging in general is illegal in Dubai, and anyone arrested for begging in Dubai or other cities in the UAE faces jail.
The possibility of making a small fortune in a few days is apparently too tempting to resist. It should also be said that we are not talking about average beggars here: they are called "professional beggars". First of all, they only cater to people who seem rich. They tell them a heartbreaking story that often their families would be the protagonists, sleeping on the streets or living in a war-torn region.
But what really sets these beggars apart is the fact that they are not satisfied with the usual 10 or 100 dirhams alms. They ask for large amounts, such as 1,000 dirhams (220 euros) or more, and there is no shortage of people who accept. They make specific requests and complain if they are begged for less! Finally, we leave you a video (in English) in which some “professional beggars” were interviewed in secret.