In pictures: Dubai demolishes illegal desert winter camps
More than 80 unregistered camps set up in the Dubai desert for the winter were destroyed yesterday by municipality workers.
The work crews began pulling down the camps at about 7am, and carried on until the evening. Officials will be out again from dawn today to pull down more camps.
"There are about 490 camps out here and more are being built every day," said Eng Jaber Al Ali, head of the building inspection section.
The municipality announced new regulations for camps last month after complaints about noise and littering. Camps must now be registered with owners paying a fee of 22 fils per week for every square metre, up to a maximum of 300 square metres.
The department initially said it would give a two-week grace period for people to register before handing out fines. That period was extended until this week when inspectors posted warnings to the owners of more than 250 camps.
Up until yesterday less than 100 camps had been registered, but as news of the demolition spread, more than 100 people came to the municipality's Umm Ramool centre, although not all were happy. "Why couldn't they wait until after the National Day holiday, they knew everyone would be using their camps this weekend," said Nasser Kajoor, an executive at Dubai World Central.
More than 80 unregistered camps set up in the Dubai desert for the winter were destroyed by municipality workers. Photos by Pawan Singh / The National