Dubai Creek tightens the reins on litter bugs

People will be fined between Dh500 and Dh5,000 if found throwing rubbish into the Creek’s water.



With a recent nomination for inclusion in the globally acclaimed Unesco’s World Heritage List, people, vessel crews and companies caught polluting Dubai Creek will be handed out strict fines, in a move which aims to protect the site.

A senior official on Wednesday said people will be fined between Dh500 and Dh5,000 if found throwing rubbish into the Creek’s water.

Head of the Environmental Emergencies Office Khalid Salem Suleitin said there would be stricter monitoring of the Creek too.

“We are planning to increase the number of inspectors who check the water and shores of the Creek,” he said at the launch of a campaign to clean-up the Creek and other water bodies in Dubai. The Dubai Municipality is in the final push to enlist the Creek and its surroundings among the World Heritage Sites of the Unesco, with the final announcement expected in June 2014.

In September, the municipality announced major development of civic amenities in areas around the Dubai Creek. “A wide and effective clean-up programme, is scheduled as part of the campaign”, said Suleitin.

Under the slogan ‘Caring For Our Marinas... Caring For Our Environment’, this is the ninth consecutive year that the Dubai Municipality is conducting the ‘Marasina Campaign’.

Nearly 100 volunteer divers offer their service to clean-up the Dubai Creek, the ports and fishermen’s village and all water bodies in Dubai.

This year, the Marasina team has fished out 23 tonnes of waste from Dubai’s marinas, compared to 49 last year.

However, plastic and other solid waste still remain a major concern. During the campaign on Wednesday, as many as 33 divers picked up plastic cups, bottles, plates and a wooden chair from the bottom of the Creek opposite the Municipality’s headquarters in Deira.

The Director General of the Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah, who inaugurated the campaign, said the Municipality had many regulations in place to protect our marine environment.

“There are strict penalties and fines for dhow workers and others who pollute the marine environment.

“The conservation of marine environment comes in the top priorities of the civic body as both the past and present of Dubai are deeply connected with the marine activities through which our forefathers laid base for this dynamic place”.

Lootah said the campaign is aimed at spreading awareness on the importance of preserving marine environment among fishermen, shipping companies, vessel crews, as well as the general public who use the seaside for evening entertainment, different activities, programmes and competitions.

He also warned sailors and workers in dhows against dumping rubbish in Dubai waters.

sajila@khaleejtimes.com


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