COVID-19: Actress says she never intended to violate rules at Dubai birthday celebration

190910 dubai police
Dubai Police have issued fines to an expat woman for holding house party in violation of COVID-19 protocol. Photo for illustrative purpose only.
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Arab actress Mariam Hussain, who was caught in Dubai celebrating her birthday in violation of COVID-19 protocol, said the restaurant’s management served her the cake out of courtesy and people gathered to take pictures with her.

She claimed that she did not organise any birthday party and spend it in her home as she follows all precautionary measures to curb COVID-19. “I didn’t intend to violate the precautionary measures. I went for dinner in a restaurant with my mother, a relative and friend. The restaurant management served us a cake out of courtesy. Then, people in the restaurant came to take pictures with me,” Hussain said. “I might have made a mistake for allowing my fans to be close with me while taking pictures but I felt embarrassed to say no to them. It won’t happen again in the future.”

She told Dubai Police of her side of the story and asked to check the surveillance cameras to confirm her claim. “I didn’t organise or ask to celebrate my birthday. I know the strict measures for anyone violating the precautionary measures in the country. The cake was a courtesy from the restaurants,” she added.

Dubai Police on Sunday announced that they summoned an Arab artist for celebrating her birthday in two different restaurants and failed to comply precautionary measures including social distancing rules.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police, said the Arab woman posted her videos celebrating her birthday with friends and relatives on Snapchat. The videos clearly showed violation of COVID-19 protocols as they did not observe COVID-19 guidelines, including keeping social distance and wearing face masks.

Police said that she violated Resolution No. 38 of 2020 issued by the UAE’s Attorney General on enforcement of penalties for violations following Cabinet Resolution No. 17 of 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. “She posted videos on her Snapchat account of the crowded party where she and her guests weren’t complying with the social distancing and wearing masks rules,” Brig Al Jallaf said in a statement.

Mariam Hussain expressed her respect to the measures and laws to curb COVID-19 in the UAE. “The laws are implemented to protect the society,” she said.

Lawyer’s statement

Moreover, lawyer Mohammad Al Najar, who represents Mariam Hussain, said Dubai Police called him to summon Hussain to police station where she was questioned for three hours. “Police questioned her with respect and reviewed surveillance cameras. She provided evidence that she didn’t organise or plan any party. All that happened was spontaneous,” Al Najar said.

“Dubai Police are treating all members of the society equally, especially about implementing the precautionary measures against coronavirus. Everyone should comply with the measures in line with the huge efforts by the UAE government to protect the society from this exceptional danger.”

Warning

Dubai Police said a fine of Dh10,000 is applicable to whoever invites or organises gatherings, meetings, private and public celebrations or being present in groups at public places or private farms as per the list of penalties.

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