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Tue 15 Nov 2016 10:57 AM

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Busker who earned $7,425 playing on Dubai streets jailed for 15 days

27-year-old Frenchman was playing an Arabic-style oud guitar in Deira’s Gold Souk

Busker who earned $7,425 playing on Dubai streets jailed for 15 days
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

A French tourist, who collected $7,425 (AED27,250) by playing music by roadside in Dubai, has been given a 15-day jail and deportation term under the emirate’s anti-begging laws, according to a news report.

The 27-year-old Frenchman was arrested by Dubai Police on November 1 while he was playing an Arabic-style oud guitar in Deira’s Gold Souk and had a blanket laid on the ground where passers-by were dropping money, 7days reported.

The tourist admitted to the charge, but claimed he did not know his performance was illegal.

“I was playing music and put a blanket on the floor, where people would place whatever amounts of money they decide to pay me for enjoying the music I’m playing. Then the police came and arrested me,” the newspaper reported him as saying.

“I have been travelling around the world and played music in public in return for money. I don’t ask people for money directly, I just place a piece of cloth on the floor and then I play, if they liked it they pay then I take the money.”

Busking is banned under anti-begging laws with the maximum penalty being one month in jail and/or an $817 (AED3,000) fine, the newspaper said.

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