Jumeirah Beach Residence
 

Important Information

Crime

The authorities in Dubai historically liked to pretend that crime in Dubai was non-existent and that it was a crime-free zone. You’d find little mention of crime in the press or in the media. There is now evidence that more incidents are being reported on. In the past it helped the Dubai publicity machine to project the city as crime free.

Surveillance

But crime does occur in Dubai and the Police and Government now seem more willing to acknowledge this. Crime statistics are now much more likely to be released than they were just a few years ago. In fact, in January 2011, police reported that serious crimes in 2010 were down 24% on 2009 figures, so there must be some crime.

Having said that, we personally have not been on the receiving end of any crime in our numerous visits to the city, although our son did once have his bicycle stolen from the basement car park of his apartment block.

The only other crime in Dubai we were really aware of was an armed robbery of diamonds and jewellery that occurred one evening when a shop in the Wafi Centre was ram-raided whilst we were in a nearby restaurant. This was probably around 2007 and it was a major incident involving millions of pounds worth of diamonds being stolen and this did actually make the newspapers at the time. The first we knew about it was on leaving the restaurant to find police vehicles flooding the area.

As tourists, we always feel safe in Dubai. It always feels to be a relatively crime-free city. Certainly crime does not seem anything like as big a concern as in the UK & USA and if normal common sense precautions are taken, you as a first time visitor should not be worried or have any problems.

We hope talk about crime doesn’t put you off taking a holiday in Dubai or cause any concerns whilst you’re there – it really shouldn’t. There are so many fascinating and enjoyable Places to See and Things to Do in this futuristic city.

We’re certain a degree of crime does take place, it’d be amazing if it didn’t in a city with around 2 million inhabitants, but if it’s a major problem we are not aware of it.

The authorities are known to come down hard on criminals and prisons are not the holiday camps they seem to be in the UK. This in itself must make people think twice before committing any crime and as such is the best preventative measure.

Having said this, and we would say this about anywhere, always keep an eye on your wallet or purse especially when in crowded areas like Deira or Naser Square. Be careful when withdrawing large amounts of cash from ATMs or banks and don’t visibly show much cash. Cases have occurred where people have been robbed of large amounts of cash when in busy places, where perhaps a degree more care would have prevented it.

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Con-men are said to be ever-present in Dubai. It’s best to be naturally suspicious, whether it’s a business proposition, a doubtful property deal or an attempt to get your credit card details. Don’t arrange meeting with anyone you have doubts about, don’t go off with anyone you’re uncertain about and don’t give out your personal details. If you come across anything suspicious report it to the police.

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Crime by the working expat communities seems to be virtually non-existent, probably for two reasons – they’re too busy working and because the ‘drongo’ and benefit-claiming classes we find in the UK and some other Western countries wouldn’t get jobs in Dubai even if they wanted to and no job equals no stay!

In the last few years police have warned that juvenile crime in Dubai is on the increase. The massive growth in the expat population of Dubai over the last 10 – 15 years means that expat couples have married there, had kids there and as such the numbers of juveniles in the city has grown, so percentage wise it’s perhaps not surprising that juvenile crime has increased.

Best advice – take the same reasonable, sensible precautions that you’d take in your home country, don’t flash the cash, keep your hand on your wallet or purse especially in busy areas, watch out for the con-artists, don’t park your car with valuables on show especially if it’s obviously a hire car and finally, ensure you take out good travel insurance before leaving home and if anything happens make sure you have adequate official paperwork as proof for when you make your claim.

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