x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

The National Day party may be over in the UAE but the real work begins

The roads of the UAE have been swamped with revellers, but now it is the time for workers and volunteers to sweep the streets clean.

Cleaners hard at work along the Corniche Road in Abu Dhabi.
Cleaners hard at work along the Corniche Road in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Hundreds of cleaners were hard at work yesterday cleaning up after National Day revellers.

Staff fanned out along the Corniche and the Breakwater, removing rubbish from parks, streets and roads, and many of the city's petrol station witnessed a brisk business.

About 15 to 20 cars queued at Adnoc petrol stations, waiting for a wash to remove the National Day detritus of the night before. Some waited up to two hours.

An attendant at the car wash in Manasir,who was busily collecting money, said: "Of course, today we are going to make brisk business as you can see there is no space to stand even in the line."

The vehicles were covered in dirt from a day spent out in the desert, or in sprays visited upon them by other motorists celebrating on Sunday night.

Emad Hasan, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi who was getting his 4x4 washed, said: "I was waiting my turn for two hours and there were around eight cars in front of me.

"I celebrated National Day in the deserts of Suweihan in Abu Dhabi so my car had a lot of dirt and dust. So I wanted to get it clean before going to the office tomorrow."

Romana Sadiq, a Briton who lives in Dubai and works in Abu Dhabi, celebrated National Day in the capital for the first time. She said revellers sprayed her car all over as she drove along the Corniche, especially on the rear windscreen.

In the past, Ms Sadiq travelled back to England for the holidays.

"It took me two hours to reach Etihad Towers on the Corniche on Sunday evening to watch the dazzling fireworks," she said. "It was wonderful."

Averda, the cleaning company hired by the Centre of Waste Management, had a couple hundred workers begin cleaning at 1am yesterday. By late morning, they still had not finished.

Salwa Mohammed, an Emirati, sent out a message on Twitter on Sunday evening calling for people to clean up after themselves.

Cleaning the country shows a real love for the country, she said. "If you littered, show your courage and clean up."

The message picked up popularity online and brought several Emiratis out to volunteer, cleaning the streets and parks in front of Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations. They brought cleaning tools, rubbish bags and were collecting rags.

"I got the message that to complete your celebration you need to clean your city," Mohammed Al Kaabi said. "So since yesterday morning people started coming one by one and nobody called anyone.