Littering on Dubai Creek will land you in a fine mess

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Dubai: Beware of tossing your rubbish into Dubai Creek, as authorities intend to intensify inspectors to slap culprits with hefty fines.

Even though the amount of rubbish has declined from 49 tonnes in 2012 to 23 tonnes in 2013, Dubai Municipality has a zero tolerance to littering and are imposing fines ranging from Dh500 to Dh5,000.

Municipal officials on Wednesday emphasised that once their bid to register Dubai Creek as a Unesco World Heritage Site is approved, it will further enhance their efforts to beef up security against polluting the city’s waters.

“Our efforts in cleaning up Dubai Creek are carried out every day, but now we will have more divers to collect rubbish from the bottom of the water. We are hopeful that Dubai Creek will be registered with Unesco by next year, and because it is that important to the city, we are always creating awareness campaigns and monitoring the area with inspectors,” Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News yesterday.

Speaking on the sideline of the ninth edition of the Marasina Campaign, which was launched on Wednesday to spread awareness on preserving the marine environment among residents, fishermen and vessel crews, Lootah explained that its team of divers is not only responsible for the creek but also in the open sea, Al Mamzar Beach and Mina Port.

“We have strict regulations and constantly inform dhow operators on the rules against polluting, as there are always new boats entering the city,” he said.

Khalid Sulaiteen, head of the Environmental Emergency Office at Dubai Municipality, said that the civic body intends to increase its number of inspectors next year, although he did not specify by how much.

He said that the most common type of rubbish found in Dubai Creek is solid waste, followed by plastic items. In yesterday’s clean up, divers found a chair, copper trays and plastic bottles.

There are currently eight inspectors who work in three shifts, and while the municipality has 11 divers, it cooperates with Dubai Police, Civil Defence and volunteers from social organisations and private companies to clean up the waters.

“We have 43 divers that work throughout the week but increase it up to 70 on Thursday afternoon and in the weekend, because that is when there are more passengers on abras,” said Sulaiteen.

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