French busker jailed for 'begging' following Dubai oud performance

French busker jailed for 'begging' following Dubai oud performance
A busker in Dubai has been sentenced to 15 days after he was picked up by police during a public oud performance where he received $7 from the crowd.
2 min read
15 November, 2016
The oud is a symbol of oriental music [Getty - photo for illustrative purposes]
A French busker has been jailed for accepting small change from a crowd during a street performance in Dubai.

On Tuesday, a Dubai court ruled that the oud player was guilty of "begging" after he received 27 dirhams ($7) from the audience on 1 November.

The judge slapped the man with a 15 day jail sentence, after having already being in custody since 1 November.

Authorities said the French national played the oud in front of a small crowd at Dubai's gold souq on 1 November, spreading a cloth on the floor in front of him, according to Gulf News.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested the 27-year-old for "begging" - an act illegal in the Gulf emirate - and he has remained in custody since.

The judge ordered that the man be deported at the end of his sentence and confiscated the change he collected during the show.

He argued that he didn't ask the audience for money, and it was left at their discretion of the public to leave change.

Police in the Gulf state take a tough line on begging, and have set up a hotline to encourage members of the public to shop in suspects in return for cash rewards.

Authorities believe that some beggars are part of criminal enterprises, and have urged the public to donate to charities rather than people on the streets.

There have been cases of suspected beggars caught in the Gulf carrying huge sums of cash.

One man was allegedly nabbed by Kuwaiti police last year with over $1.5 million in a bank account.

However, many are said to be workers who have been made unemployed, had salaries cut, or run away from sponsors and not able to work legally.