Laundry owners refute this allegation saying that the public is free to lodge their complaints with the Muncipality if they feel that health norms are being violated. Civic officials were not available for comment regarding the alleged flouting of health norms by laundries.

By Riyasbabu (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sun 6 Nov 2005, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:22 PM

According to the residents, most of the time when they give clothes to wash and iron they get it back dirty and smelling even after they are laundered. "I am tired with these laundries and the way they handle our clothes. Many don't have enough space to keep the clothes in a hygienic condition resulting in the clothes being hurled on the floor and collecting dust," said Safar.

He complained that his clothes have been ruined because of negligence of workers at a laundry in Deira. He said he has tried different shops which are low priced compared to the big outlets, but the result at most places is the same.

Rajan, an Indian expatriate, said that he has no option, otherwise he would never give his clothes to the laundry since he has had several bad experiences with the way the laundries have handled the clothes. "I give dirty clothes to be laundered so that I can wear clean dress to work, but many times they have come back without plastic cover and sometimes with stains and bed bugs."

He said several small laundries which opened in the emirate lack space to keep both dirty and laundered clothes separately. Most of the small laundries operate as franchisees of big reputed laundries and are often just the collection centres for clothes, which receive a commission on total business.

Farah, an Irani national and a resident of Hor Al Anz said she avoids giving her clothes to laundries because most of the shops don't maintain proper hygiene. "But, both my husband and I work and so sometimes we are compelled to use the laundry service," she said adding, "In fact on a couple of occasions, I was forced to re-wash the laundered clothes at home".

The laundry owners blame lack of efficient and clean service on the increasing cost of chemicals and other products used for laundering clothes. Besides, steep rents have forced many to open small-sized shops, some owners disclosed.

They pointed out that increasing competition has forced them to maintain low costs for laundering that were fixed 10 years ago resulting in poor standards.

"The price for washing and ironing a trouser is Dh2 and a shirt is Dh1 which was fixed ten years ago. The cost of everything has increased manifold between this time," Musammil, owner of Jamal Safi laundry Hamriyah said complaining that people are willing to pay more for everything, but when it comes to laundry they still want to pay low rates.

"Some areas are infested with rodents and bugs, so they may get into the laundered clothes tucked away in their packing after wash," a laundry owner admitted, but denied that it was a frequent phenomenon.

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