Dubai: “Wear your masks. Please keep a social distance. This is for your own safety. Thank you.”
This simple call echoed in The Dubai Mall by dozens of Dubai Police volunteers, to ensure shoppers adhere to precautionary measures to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heroes of different nationalities have responded to the emirate’s call to join law enforcement in the fight against the pandemic by applying to the Dubai Police Volunteer Platform.
More than 2,400 volunteers in Dubai hover the streets, malls and tourist attractions with one goal: to strengthen the culture of wearing masks and social distancing.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, director of the Dubai Police Department of Criminal Investigations, told Gulf News that despite the presence of duty officers, it won’t be easy to catch everyone flouting precautionary measures. They therefore strive to make these measurements a habit for everyone.
“Intense government efforts to make sure people don’t flout the measures. The Dubai Police and their volunteers have played a key role in raising awareness and protecting others, ”Brig Al Jallaf told Gulf News.
Dubai Police have imposed numerous fines on violators in accordance with United Arab Emirates Attorney General Resolution No.38 of 2020 following Cabinet Decision No.17 of 2020, regarding the implementation of related regulations. to the spread of communicable diseases, according to Brig Al Jallaf.
Additionally, Captain Khalifa Al Room, Head of Dubai Police Volunteer Platform, said 2,432 volunteers worked with Dubai Police for over 31,482 hours of volunteer work to raise awareness in shopping malls and places of attraction for tourists.
“The main task of the volunteers is to raise awareness by wearing masks and maintaining social distance. If the person refuses to comply with these measures, a fine will be issued by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Dubai Police, ”Captain Al Room told Gulf News. “We are proud of the number of volunteers because it shows how a number of people have adopted the culture of protection of measures and their social circle. By following and adhering to these instructions, the UAE has achieved great success in the fight against the pandemic. It is public engagement that has contributed to the success.
Al Room reaffirmed the commitment of the Dubai Police Force to embrace the culture of volunteerism among its employees and members of the public.
How volunteers work
For Huzaifa Ibrahim, volunteer team leader at the Dubai Mall, participating in the patrols has become a joyful experience despite spending hours away from family members.
Ibrahim, a 34-year-old Pakistani, organizes a meeting with the volunteers at the main entrance of the Dubai Mall, to welcome new arrivals, divide them into teams of two members and remind them of their responsibilities. “The world is on its knees because of the pandemic. As residents of the UAE, we have a responsibility to make sure everyone stays safe. We are here for everyone’s safety. Just a reminder to wear a mask can make a big difference in the battle against COVID-19, ”Ibrahim said.
At the Dubai Mall, about twenty volunteers, with their remarkable green vests, approach the offenders and advise them to wear their masks and to maintain a physical distance. “The challenges sometimes people don’t understand is for their safety. We understand that people come here from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. We politely ask them to put on the mask and cover their noses, ”Ibrahim added.
He said many people immediately respond to our instructions but others neglect their action. “Most people follow the instructions and thank us. Their thanks are our reward.
What the volunteers say
Meanwhile, Maha Jasim, an Emirati volunteer, said that sometimes people ignore their advice or turn down the mask as soon as they turn their faces away. “I ask them to cover their noses. I always tell them it’s for your safety and my safety. I am proud of my volunteer work with the Dubai Police Force, reminding people that the measures could save their lives, ”said Maha.
For Tega Agambi of Nigeria, this initiative gives her the opportunity to serve her community. “It is a great privilege for me to wear the volunteer vest and play a role in the fight against the pandemic. Our role in raising awareness by providing information on precautionary and preventive measures, ”Agambi said. “Together we can beat COVID-19.”
Fines for not wearing a mask
In January, Dubai police imposed 443 fines for not wearing a mask. At the same time, 1,569 warnings were sent to offenders. Dubai Police said the fines were imposed during inspections at five shopping malls in Dubai.