Sharjah - Love going to UAE parks, beaches in winter? Pay Dh1,000 fine for littering

Sharjah - Love going to UAE parks, beaches in winter? Pay Dh1,000 fine for littering
Sharjah - Love going to UAE parks, beaches in winter? Pay Dh1,000 fine for littering

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - (M. Sajjad/Al Khaleej Today)

Fines will increase for repeat offenders.

Picnickers barbecuing and grilling in non-designated places, including green areas, parks and beaches, will be fined Dh500, and littering these barred zones with waste will entail an added penalty of Dh1,000, the civic authorities have warned.

The Sharjah and Ajman municipalities have launched intensified inspections targeting holiday-makers who barbecue and grill in areas which are banned for such activities.

The officials of the two civic bodies have pointed out that due to the holiday season and cool weather, violations are expected to increase. In order to tackle these blatant breaches, inspectors have been directed to work in two shifts driving around beach areas, parks, and green zones, while keeping an eye on visitors and violators. The officials have also urged residents to cooperate with the authorities and abide by the rules and regulations to avoid any penalties.

Mohammed Al Kabbi, director of city cleanliness at Sharjah Municipality, said that the inspection aims at protecting the environment and allow the public to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way. "People who are involved in barbecuing in such places will face fines of up to Dh500, which will increase every time the offence is repeated." He added that the municipality has launched an annual awareness campaign to educate the public about the negative effects of grilling or barbecuing in the grass.

Despite all the warnings and awareness, many people reportedly "still ignore the regulations and cook in the banned areas", especially during spring and winter seasons. They also throw waste -- such as used charcoal -- on the grass. Those on beaches leave it on the sand. "These illegal practices affect the environment and public health."

The municipality will continue to step up inspection around these areas during the weekends and school holidays to catch those who flout the regulations. Erring individuals will be slapped with hefty fines of up to Dh1,000 for littering and legal action will be taken if necessary.

He explained that there are certain places designated for barbecuing in the parks. These are, however, not allowed on open beaches and in grassy areas. The municipality has installed 55 instruction signboards in parks and grassy areas specifying that smoking shisha and barbecues are not allowed in the areas.

Khalid Al Hosani, executive director of the public health and environment department, said that the Ajman Municipality has banned barbecuing and smoking shisha in public parks, green areas and beaches to maintain the health and safety of the residents.

Al Hosani stressed that the ban is important as it helps visitors to enjoy the clean environs, free of barbecue waste and the smell of shisha smoke.

He added that the health, safety and satisfaction of individuals is what the municipality aspires to achieve as the parks, green areas and beaches are the places most frequented by residents, who seek comfort and recreation.

Al Hosani said that the municipality will carry on spreading its awareness and inspection campaigns during the holiday season, which witnesses a huge turnout of people.

He urged the people to report any violation they encounter to the to municipality by calling 993.

Afkar Abdullah

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