Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Construction material and rubbish is dumped on the public beach in Umm al Qaiwain.
Randi Sokoloff Staff
Construction material and rubbish is dumped on the public beach in Umm al Qaiwain.

Clean-up patrols hit the beach

Umm al Qaiwain launches a campaign to persuade people to clear up after themselves, by the sea and in their neighbourhoods.

UMM AL QAIWAIN // Undercover inspectors will be on the lookout for litterbugs on the emirate's beaches in the evenings, handing out Dh500 fines to anyone caught dropping rubbish. The move is part of a campaign to tidy up the coastline.

The cleanliness drive, due to be launched on Wednesday, will also see cleaners picking up waste on beaches and signs erected warning people not to drop rubbish. The municipality said it followed complaints from tourists and residents. A quick walk on Umm al Qaiwain's beaches revealed the extent of the problem, with large quantities of waste, including soda cans and bottles, papers and leftover food.

"There is a serious bad smell on the beaches. The rubbish on the shores also makes it difficult to go jogging or swimming," said one resident. Younus al Haj, another resident, suggested that the municipality should hire a private cleaning company to maintain the beach daily. "The municipality should also educate people about the impact their rubbish can have on the environment and marine life," he said. "Clean-up alone will not solve the problem."

Obaid Ali, the head of the municipality's environment and health section, blamed irresponsible beachgoers, but said the recent algal blooms had also left their mark. "We have got several complaints of foul smell at the beaches but residents ought to know this is a natural factor from the Red Tide that killed a lot of fish on the shores," he said. He said that even before this campaign, the municipality had been removing dead fish from the sea and cleaning the affected shores.

Mr Ali said people should have the self-discipline to dispose of their litter in the right place. A spokesperson for the Palma Beach Hotel said the problem was limited primarily to the public beaches, as hotels tried hard to keep their sand clean. The municipality also plans to tackle the problem of litter building up on the streets of residential areas. Dr Misbah Rashid, the director general of Umm al Qaiwain Municipality, said some residents were failing to put their rubbish in the proper place.

Others did not realise the municipality provided collection services for things such as unwanted furniture, he said. "There are some people who would blatantly put the rubbish on the sides of the dustbins. At times it's big furniture and they say they cannot lift it up to the dustbin, but even then they are not aware that we have vans that can pick them up," he said. He said there were up to 16 cars and lorries operating throughout the emirate whose workers would help residents put all their waste in the right place. The municipality does not charge for collecting any rubbish.

He said it was planning another campaign to encourage residents to use the municipality's furniture collection service. It will distribute leaflets in both English and Arabic warning residents of the dangers of rubbish thrown outside their homes and on to the streets. One resident, Fadeel Abdrahman, complained that the authorities were not doing enough about the problem. "At times I wonder whether our authorities ever move to other emirates to see how well kept and tidy they are, or whether they would ever copy anything from them," he said. "Unless the emirate is clean, no tourists or investors can take it seriously."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit on April 16, 2014 in Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Map of seperatist movements around the world

The conflict in Ukraine is a classic example of competing aspirations and identities – here’s a look at seperatist movements around the world.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

 Omar Al Miskini was honoured as Outstanding Male Driver with Special Needs at last month’s Gulf Traffic Week.

In pictures: Special needs driver an exemplary example in the UAE

Photos of Omar Al Miskini, 40, who was named exemplary male driver with special needs by Abu Dhabi Police during the Gulf Traffic Week


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National