Men running illegal tattoo shop in Dubai arrested

The tattoo artists would advertise their services on social media, quoting between Dh600 and Dh1,500 for a tattoo

Dubai, 17th January 2012.  Lupin the Tattoo Artist etching Martin Luther King's image to Lawrence Talento's ( 24 years old and a Filipino ) tricep's.  ( Jeffrey E Biteng / The National )
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A tattoo artist has been arrested for running an illegal parlour in Dubai.

The man — an Arab national — was advertising his services through an Instagram account where he was quoting between Dh600 and Dh1,500 for a tattoo.

“Pictures of tattoo drawings were posted on his Instagram page,” said Brig Salem Al Rumaithi, director of the general department of criminal investigation at Dubai Police.

“Some of the drawings posted on his page show pictures of unaccepted behaviour in our culture and traditions,” he said, adding that the man was seemingly targeting teenage clients.

An undercover policeman contacted the tattoo artist and set up an appointment at the man’s flat in Dubai International City.

Police raided the flat and arrested the man, seizing needles and other tools used for tattooing.

The man was referred to public prosecution to face legal action.


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Col Omar bin Hamad, an official at the department of anti-economic crimes, said another two suspects carrying out illegal tattoos were also arrested in Dubai.

The two Asian men had also been promoting their trade on social media and would set up appointments and their clients’ apartments.

“Two Asian tattooists, who were promoting their business on social medial platforms, have been arrested. People would reach out to them on social media platforms and the suspects would go to their customer’s apartments,” said Colonel bin Hamad.

While getting a tattoo is not legally penalised in the UAE, it is forbidden in Islam by virtue of a Fatwa issued by the Official Fatwa Centre at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and considered a form of self-injury.

It is also illegal to get a tattoo done by an unlicensed tattoo artist due to the health risks this poses to public health. The use of incorrectly sanitised tools can cause severe health problems including hepatitis C and infection.