Are Enthusiastic Pokémon Go Players Crossing the Line in the UAE?



A little over a month ago, Pokemon Go came to everyone’s life and took total control of it. A month later and the app is still going strong. I’ve become so used to seeing people walking in the streets, malls, beaches and basically everywhere catching Pokemon. I’m not sure Dubai’s imams feel the same way.


Imams in Dubai have said that players are now seen daily in front of places of worship, and on occasion, even inside them. Needless to say, the scholars weren’t really happy. “The Pokemon Go phenomenon caused a huge parking problem in our mosque. Our mosque’s door is always open for worship; however, Pokemon addicts are invading it,” Ali Ahmed Mashael, the Grand Mufti at the Islamic Affairs And Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, was among those to urge players to be respectful.


But the “Pokemon addicts” may not agree with the scholars. Majd Dhweji, 22, a Syrian player studying at University of Dubai have said, “I don’t think the game is harmful at all. I’ve even made friends with complete strangers because of this. I think it brings people together.”


“Pokestops which is a thing in the game are usually predetermined landmarks which players go to collect items to help progress in the game. Sometimes the spot is close by a mosque. I don’t really think it harms the people in the mosque. We are not literally inside the mosque,” said Aysha Gharatkar, 27, an Indian interior designer, found herself playing outside the mosque last week.



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