Actress tells of regret after Dh10,000 Covid fine for Dubai restaurant video

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A television actress who was detained for flouting Covid-19 safety measures told of her regret after being hit with a Dh10,000 fine.

Mariam Hussein was taken in for questioning by police after footage of her celebrating her birthday party at a restaurant in Dubai was circulated online.

The Snapchat video showed her surrounded by partygoers at a venue in the city's financial district.

As The National reported earlier, she was later taken to a police station for questioning on suspicion of breaching strict laws on social distancing.

Ms Hussein, who lives in Dubai and is Moroccan, said she was given a surprise birthday cake by the restaurant's managers and diners crowded around to take photos.

“There were no plans for a birthday party, but the restaurant brought me a surprise birthday cake,” Ms Hussein told The National.

“Surveillance cameras can confirm that it all went unplanned.

“I am aware of how strict measures are taken against offenders.

"I would not break them just to celebrate my birthday, but I may have made a mistake of allowing fans to approach too close for pictures and felt embarrassed to reject their requests.”

She regretted what had happened and said she usually abides by the safety laws that are in place to protect the public.

Her lawyer, Mohammed Al Najjar, said Dubai Police had summoned his client for questioning.

“She was questioned with much respect for three hours, during which the CCTV footage was checked and proved what happened was not planned,” he said.

Dubai Police confirmed they detained the actress over the video.

Officials have repeatedly stressed for the need to follow rules on social distancing, the wearing of masks and other precautions, as new daily Covid cases remain relatively high.

Ms Hussein has appeared in a number of Gulf television series and several Arabic language films.

She has over 630,000 followers on Instagram and 190,000 on Twitter.

Social distancing enforced across the Emirates

Commuters wait for their bus outside the airconditioned bus stop along al Falah Street in central Abu Dhabi on a Friday afternoon All photos by. All photos by Victor Besa /The National

Mustaffa, eleven, waits for his bread to be baked with his uncle Abdul Qader outside the Naser Bader Bakery.

Abdul Rahman has been working at Naser Bader Bakery along Al Falah Street, Abu Dhabi for almost five years now.

The new air-conditioned bus stops around Abu Dhabi with Covid-19 restrictions.

Pedestrians cross the street at central Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon.

Commuters get off the bus at Abu Dhabi on a Friday afternoon.

Commuters get off the bus at Abu Dhabi on a Friday afternoon.

E-scooter riders along Al Falah Street in central Abu Dhabi on a Friday afternoon.

Updated: September 22, 2020 11:17 AM

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