Abandoned boats removed from creek

Dubai Municipality has removed 10 abandoned boats from Dubai Creek to improve the safety and appearance of the waterway.

The boats were dragged out to protect the marine environment, prevent disasters, and keep up the emirate's 'aesthetic appearance'.
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DUBAI // After hours of gruelling work, 10 abandoned boats have been dragged out of the Dubai Creek, the municipality announced yesterday.

Officials said some of the vessels had been partially sunk, while others were rotting on the banks in Al Jadaf area for as many as 17 years.

The fibre and wooden dhows were removed after the municipality warned owners it would confiscate and destroy the boats if they were not removed by Monday.

"The lifting tasks of some vessels took around 15 hours and the length of most of them varied between 60-85 feet," said Abdul Majeed Saifaie, the director of waste management at the municipality.

Mr Saifaie said the move was to protect the marine environment, prevent disasters, and keep up the emirate's "aesthetic appearance".

Last month, his department sent out notices to shipowners asking them to move the boats.

"The process also included communication with owners of abandoned ships for its safe removal and treatment of damages," Mr Saifaie said.

The municipality first began clearing the creek of dilapidated and old ships in 2010, removing 17. Last year, six boats were taken out of the creek. This year is expected to be the final cleaning phase.

A boat captain now regularly patrols the area to monitor the cleanliness of the creek and look for abandoned watercraft.

Shipbuilding companies in Al Jadaf, private companies and Dubai Police helped to lift ships out of the creek.

They will be taken to a municipality dumping yard where they will be destroyed.