An amateur photographer who said that he was trying to win a photography competition was jailed for taking prohibited pictures in Abu Dhabi.
The man, a Pakistani living in Sharjah, was also relieved of his passport and fined $270 after he was found guilty of taking photos of Mina Zayed, an area of the UAE capital which includes military facilities and docked warships.
The man said he was taking pictures at sunset for a competition entitled ‘Abu Dhabi Through Your Eyes', according to UAE daily The National.
Crossing the newly opened Khalifa Bridge, the man took several photos in the direction of Abu Dhabi and the port. The newspaper reported that as he left, he became aware he was being followed by a white Honda with a Dubai licence plate.
The Honda belonged to the army, who called the police. The man was taken to a holding cell where he was left for two days, before being released on bail on confiscation of his passport.
"When the police came," the man said, "they said that I was taking pictures of the military zone, but how am I supposed to know that? There are no signs that say ‘no photography'. This bridge has been under construction for five years and there are no signs."
While the man has now paid his fine, he is still awaiting the return of his passport and camera, the newspaper added.