Dubai’s new pull – ‘begging festival’
New Delhi: Oasis in the desert ‘Pearl of the Gulf’ Dubai is witnessing increased rush from India as scores of people are flying in to make the maximum of a new business opportunity.
With the holy month of Ramzan being observed with full fervour, during which devout Muslims give generous alms (Zakaat), scores see an opportunity to make a quick buck.
As per a report in Times of India, Indians as well as people from other Asian countries are in Dubai to beg their way to riches.
The report further said that even employed people from these countries come to Dubai on visit visas and begin the chase for Zakaat.
The economics of the endeavour is clear. Most of the alms seekers end up taking back a substantial sum of money even after taking into account the money spent on buying tickets, visa fees and lodging – Rs 1.5-2 lakhs in total.
A beggar from Pakistan was caught with 18,000 Dirhams (around Rs 2.45 lakh) during a recent raid, the report said.
However, the alms business can land one in trouble as begging is banned in United Arab Emirates.
As per the report, a number of Indians from the states of Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have been arrested in recent days for begging on the streets of Dubai.
Those arrested serve a jail term of three months but considering the massive opportunity, many willingly take the risk.
Over the years, the system has become institutionalised with hawala operators offering 24X7 service to help these begging entrepreneurs transfer money to India.