As I approached my car, the man fixed me in his gaze and approached me. Lifting up his shirt to display a bloody wound, he pleaded with me for money.
"Please sir, I have car accident, need to go home to India..."
I gave him a few riyals and he started crying, pleading for more.
It's not without risk, though. Begging is illegal, and transgressors risk arrest, imprisonment and deportation.
Perhaps another cause in the increase in beggers is the increasing trend to not paying workers recently highlighted by Al Jazeera. Contractors are increasingly holding back wages, sometimes for months. Heartbreakingly, the workers have often borrowed heavily to come out, sometimes even mortgaging their land. With no shortage of labourers desperate for work, complaining has little effect.
At the other end of the scale, I knew one gentleman who came out to work here and was given a nice car, a great house to live in and the latest mobile phone - but no money. "I've given you everything you need - what do you need money for?" his boss asked him.
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