A large clean-up operation was in full swing in the early hours of this morning in Dubai following New Year’s celebrations that saw over a million people pack the streets to ring in 2018.
As revelers began to head home after a long night, the day was just beginning for Dubai's clean-up team – dozens of vehicles and cleaners were deployed throughout the emirate to ensure the streets, beaches and New Year celebration spots were cleared of the night's detritus.
Dulal Shafiqul, a cleaning supervisor operating in Dubai's Downtown area this morning, said the celebrants left behind "tonnes of garbage" including packaging, food items, balloons, party hats and, more surprisingly, prams.
Around 10 cubic metres of trash was collected after the New Year’s celebrations, the Bangladeshi national said.
Mr Shafiqul, 30, whose shift began a little before midnight was due to finish at 6am, but he said he had to stay for almost an extra hour to make sure the city was as clean as it had begun.
Mohammed Abrar, a 34-year-old Pakistani waste collection vehicle driver, told The National while working this morning: “The cleaners and I collected a huge amount of waste this morning. This is my seventh trip to the Downtown area to collect waste left by people last night.”
He said he had been collecting rubbish bags from midnight until 7am.
Crowds also flocked to beaches in Jumeirah for New Year’s celebrations and to get glimpse of the fireworks display.
Mohammed Hussain, a cleaner who has been collecting rubbish on the beach over the busy holiday season, started his shift at 5am. He said: “Whenever I finish cleaning the beach, I feel that my work is half done as people keep dropping lots of garbage.
"The amount of waste has increased in the past three days. So many people are coming to the beach in their holiday and they throw garbage on the beach. I have been cleaning the beach around ten times a day.”
Mr Hussain said that whenever he takes a break, he comes back to find that he has to clean the beach all over again.
“I cleaned the beach dozens of times in the past three days. People are leaving behind Pepsi cans, used tissues, chips and many other things. I remove it all. I work for 12 hours and start work from early morning,” he said.