Dubai’s robocop out on a top mission at city's malls

Hesham Salah/Dubai
Filed on May 4, 2021
Screengrab from a video shared by the Dubai Police shows Amal interacting with visitors at a Dubai mall.

Robocop Amal is spreading awareness about the hazards of drug abuse across various malls in Dubai.

‘Volunteer Amal’, a smart robot that works for Hemaya International Centre, is giving it straight from the heart as ‘she’ tries to spread awareness about the hazards of drug abuse and encourage addicts and their families or friends to come forward and seek help before it’s too late.

Colonel Abdullah Matar Al Khayat, director of the Hemaya International Centre, said that Volunteer Amal is spreading awareness at four locations across Dubai — Dubai Sports World (Trade Centre), Arabian Center, City Mall Al Warqa and Al Barsha Mall.

The robot is part of an initiative launched by the centre to spread awareness in the community about Article 43 of the Criminal Law, which states that no criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a person addicted to drugs, if he or she seeks help to kick the habit. “She mainly raises awareness about Article 43 to give people hope that even if they made a mistake, they can always seek help,” Al Khayat said.

He said that Volunteer Amal uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people, answer their queries and even talk to them like a normal person.

Amal was first introduced to the world by the Dubai Police in December 2017 and given her popularity, has been roped in again for the awareness drive ‘Protect Yourself’ to highlight the dangers of drugs and offer people access to vital information.

Al Khayat recounted instances of young people being targeted by drug traffickers via mobile phone or social media messages that lure them into trying illegal products or buying drugs. The ‘Protect Yourself’ campaign also raises awareness about being wary of such messages, he added.

Amal has been used in the past by Hemaya, but has now become smarter and cooler after she got a brand-new update that helps her communicate better with people.

The campaign will last until the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Al Khayat said.

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