Angry Dubai worker destroys bowling centre over visa refusal, court hears

Egyptian smashed windows, TVs and sinks, as well as setting chairs on fire in a fit of rage over being denied residency visa, court hears.

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DUBAI // A man wrecked the bowling centre where he worked, smashing windows, televisions and setting chairs on fire, when his employer refused to change his visa status, Dubai Criminal Court heard on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Egyptian was working at Dubai Bowling Centre but only had a visit visa. When the manager refused to offer him a residency visa after a few months, he allegedly started tearing the place up.

Prosecutors charged him with setting fire to the centre using a lighter, and with damaging property. The accused admitted that he smashed the centre’s glass windows, walls, doors, four sinks in its toilet and five TV screens, as well as three tables, a laptop, a computer, a printer and other items.

The damage caused was estimated at Dh156,250.

The Indian security guard at the bowling called police at 2am on February 2 after failing to restrain the man.

“He was smashing a lot of things then he poured a liquid on some of the chairs and set them ablaze,” said the guard.

Police and firefighters were dispatched to the bowling, in Al Quoz, and the fire was put out.

“We saw him as he was damaging the place when we got there,” said a 38-year-old police officer, adding that when he was questioned the man told them why he was destroying the place.

The man said that he was angry at the prospect of having to pay the fines for overstaying his visa.

“Yes, I did burn the place and I damaged it,” said the defendant.

A verdict will be issued on May 24.