Dubai's 999 emergency telephone number 'clogged up' with non essential calls, warns top cop

The 971 Report
A flashing light on an emergency vehicle

A flashing light on an emergency vehicle

Dubai's police say the emergency 999 telephone number is being clogged up with hundreds of thousands of non-essential inquiries, ranging from complaints about taxi drivers to requests for late night chemists, UAE daily Gulf News reported on Thursday.

More than two million 999 calls were received in 2012, according to Major General Jasem Mohammad Bu Rumaitha, Director-General of Dubai Police Operations, but about one million of these were non-serious, he said.


Speaking at a press conference he added: "Some people call 999 to ask about shopping mall locations, another man called 999 to say that he needed to buy a painkiller for headache and he could not find a pharmacy that was open at night. Other callers reported an absconded worker or housemaid or to complain against taxi drivers who charged more than the meter allowed."

Bu Rumaitha instead asked people with non-essential calls to dial the 901 toll free number, which offers basic information regarding issues including labour complaints, traffic fines, and information pertaining to the issuance of birth, death, burial and other certificates, the newspaper added. Alternatively, people can email the 901 service at

In 2012, 33,970 calls were made to the 901 service by Arab nationals and a further 16,000 by non-Arabs, the report added.

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