Saudi teens fined for eating during Ramadan, Dubai court hears

Two teenagers from Saudi Arabia arresting for eating during Ramadan said that they were allowed to because they were travelling.

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DUBAI // Two teenagers from Saudi Arabia, arrested for eating in public during daylight hours of Ramadan, argued they were allowed to do so as they were travelling.

SA and AS, both 19, were visiting the UAE in July when a police patrol saw them eating burgers and drinking Pepsi in the car park of the Mall of the Emirates.

The pair told prosecutors they had arrived on July 17 and were scheduled to leave on the night of their arrest when they went to the Mall of the Emirates.

"While there we bought the food and took it to the car park and sat on the chairs and started eating. Suddenly, a patrol car sees us and we get arrested," said AS.

He told police investigators that he called his mother the night before and asked her to seek the opinion of a mufti on whether he and his friend could break their fast as they were travelling.

"She told me that he said yes, we can, so we did not fast," he said.

His friend said this was the first time he had skipped a day of fasting in Ramadan.

"I am a Muslim and know that once travelling, one can skip a day in Ramadan to avoid getting tired due to travelling," he said.

But the Misdemeanours Court did not agree, and fined the two Dh2,000 each.