Beggars at hospitals and shops

Beggars are staying away from public roads to avoid detection in the Northern Emirates, officials say.

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SHARJAH // Ramadan beggars are targeting hospitals and shopping centres in the Northern Emirates.

The holy month often prompts an increase in begging.

Nadir Muslim, 35, from India, was targeted outside a hospital. "I had just paid my bills and was walking out when a beggar approached me with a plastered leg asking for money," he said.

"A hospital staff member saw me opening my wallet and asked the man to identify himself.

"Then he told me to go as the man was a beggar."Murtadi Ahmed, 30, from Egypt, was approached by a group of beggars at a shopping centre.

"They called me to their car and the man started explaining how they had run short of fuel and had to return to Oman as the women shook their heads in approval," he said. "But I had already heard of this trick from friends and left without giving them a coin."

A Ministry of Interior initiative is urging residents to give their charity money to credible establishments rather than beggars.