US TikToker Faces Dubai Jail Time For Public Screaming

A Popular U.S. TikToker is facing two years in Dubai jail after she screamed at a rental car agency worker. 

Tierra Allen —from Houston, Texas— has been stuck in Dubai since April after she screamed at the car rental agency worker who was following and intimidating her, according to a nonprofit organization called Detained in Dubai.

Radha Stirling, the nonprofit’s CEO, said Allen was detained as part of a blackmail scheme that the car rental agency is running. Stirling added that some local police officers may be in on the illicit plan.

“Tierra is the latest American tourist to get caught up in what is a common rental car extortion scheme,” Stirling said. “Rental car agencies are notorious for opening criminal cases against visitors with the promise to drop the case if they are paid off. The prevalence of blackmail is damaging to the UAE’s tourism and investment sectors, and Dubai’s government needs to crack down on this abuse of process.

Allen, 29, claimed her problem began when she and a local car rental shop manager had a verbal argument. The TikToker’s debit cards and cell phone had been impounded along with her rental car the previous day due to a minor traffic accident near the Arabian Gulf. 

When Allen arrived at the rental shop to collect her belongings, the manager allegedly demanded money in exchange for her things. Allen claimed the manager was hostile towards her and followed her outside the office when she left. 

I felt very intimidated. I told him to stop, but instead, he called the police and opened a case against me, apparently for ‘screaming,’” Allen claims. “I am in shock that he frightened me; I told him to stop, and now the police have said I can’t go home. I told them I had a medical emergency and needed to return to the US, but they wouldn’t let me.”

Police confiscated Allen’s passport and have spent the last three months trying to decide if they should prosecute the 29-year-old for shouting in public. In Dubai, shouting in public is considered offensive behavior and carries a jail term of up to two years.