x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Thousands fined in Sharjah for hanging out the washing

Authority says it has fined 3,753 residents for putting satellite dishes out and drying clothes in windows and on their verandahs since January.

SHARJAH // Sharjah Municipality has fined thousands of residents for putting satellite dishes and drying clothes in their windows and on their verandahs.

The authority announced yesterday that it had fined 3,753 residents since January. No comparative figures were given for the previous years.

"We have already warned all of them and now we are taking action," said Abdul Aziz Al Mansouri the deputy director of technical affairs at the municipality.

"Each tenant found exposing clothes or hanging dishes outside windows or verandahs will be fined Dh250 and expected to pay in just one week. Delays would make the fine double to Dh500."

He said the municipality had run advertisements on the radio and television and in newspapers to warn residents that the practice was illegal. It had also distributed leaflets in Arabic, English, Hindi and Farsi.

The campaign is intended to improve the image of the emirate, he said, urging residents to call the municipality's free hotline - 993 - and report anyone breaking the law.

However, some have complained they cannot afford to take their clothes to laundries or afford a decent washing line inside their flats.

"I always put my clothes on the verandah at night and remove them in the morning as that heat is enough to dry them," said one resident of Al Nabbaa building in Sharjah.

"I have not had trouble with the watchman like other tenants doing it during the day, and no inspectors have fined me so far."

Mohammed Al Mullah, 40, an Emirati resident of Al Qassimiya, was all in favour of the ban. "With all respect to the people who still do it, we are moving towards a modern city and a building covered with clothes just doesn't look nice," he said.

"What annoys me most is that some people would even hang their inner clothes on balconies or in public. This is disrespectful."

Ajman has enacted a similar ban, but hanging clothes are still visible on many of its residential towers.