Among this deluge are a number of professional phony beggars who come to the UAE during the month to earn fat incomes by playing on the sympathy & generosity of people.
The following are the top three (in reverse order) contenders for the title of Fake Beggars of the Year Award:
3. ‘Burned-out’ – He paints his arm coral pink & then slathers Vaseline-like substance all over it & makes it look ‘authentically’ burned. Every year it’s the same man, with the same story, the same ‘freshly burned’ arm knocking on our doors. He seems to forget that he had approached us before, but, we remember. The moment we remind him of his story from previous years, he runs off.
2. ‘Aristocratic Hobo’ – This person is not your typical ‘down-in-luck’ fellow. He is dressed meticulously in crisp white kanddoras & designer watch. He steps out of his BMWs & approaches you in mall parking lots & tells you that he is a traveler (most likely from Oman) whose wallet was stolen/lost & he needs money for petrol to return. He will even have a family sitting in his car as ‘proof’. He will not accept anything less than Dhs.100. And he will get angry if you offer to pay for his petrol directly.
1. ‘Pregnant Man’ – This poor chap deserves the best fake beggar award for his ‘unprofessionalism’. He pretends to be really sick & even manages to produce a medical report as proof to gather sympathies & money. His fate takes him to beg from a man who happens to be a police Major General. The officer asks to see his medical report (btw, the report was in Arabic which was not the language of the beggar most likely) to verify. Lo & behold, it turns out to be a woman’s pregnancy scan report!! Needless to say, he was arrested after that. Read here.