DUBAI // Residents and business owners in Karama have been urged to get involved in a campaign to clean up their neighbourhood.
The suburb, near Dubai Creek, is best known for its market, where low-cost wares are popular with tourists. The densely populated area is made up of low-rise apartment blocks.
Over the next 10 days, the Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality has planned several programmes and activities to educate the public about unlawful and dirty practices such as littering, spitting and throwing cigarette butts on the road. They will also warn against storing waste and drying clothes on balconies.
“Dubai is the city of all its residents and visitors,” said Abdul Majeed Saifaie, director of the department. “We should keep it clean to show our good manner and sophisticated culture in front of the world.
“The last two years we ran this campaign in Naif and Fahidi and it had a very good response.
“We want to concentrate on the older parts of the city, especially those in commercial business districts that attract a lot of tourists.”
Berna Pereira, who has run a tailors in Al Karama for 30 years, was pleasantly surprised to find the municipality in the neighbourhood.
“For the past five years I’ve been complaining about the state of cleanliness around my shop to the company that runs our building, Al Wasl, but to no avail.
“People throw rubbish and cigarettes, and spit everywhere. They even leave plates of leftover food to feed stray cats around my shop. This is very unhygienic and detracts customers from coming to my shop.”
Mr Saifaie listened to Mrs Pereira’s complaints and said he would look into them.
The department’s inspectors will spend the next few days touring 1,500 establishments in the area and the cleanest shops will receive prizes.
“The prizes will be both a decorative item that they can display in their shops as well as something of material value,” Mr Saifaie said.
“Our aim here is not to fine people – I don’t see that as the best way to get results. We have to raise awareness and allow for a change in mentality. That will have long-term benefits.”