130 tonnes of rubbish removed from Dubai desert in six weeks

Appeal for campers and families to bin their waste or risk harming wildlife

Clean-up operations are under way across the desert regions of Dubai. Courtesy: Dubai Municipality
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Dubai Municipality has begun a five-month desert clean-up operation in an effort to protect the environment.

A dedicated team of 100 workers, 33 control and supervisory staff as well as six desert bikes will be used to clean up wild areas until the end of April. The municipality said there would be 24 additional mechanisms for collecting and transporting waste.

The regions that will receive special attention include Al Qudra Street, Al Ruwaiya 3, Al Warsan 2 and 3 as well as tourist locations in Hatta, Al Qudra Lakes, Love Lakes and the area behind the defence camp in Al Aweer.

Tripoli Street, Wadi Al Amardi, Wadi Al Shabak, Emirates Road, Amman Street in Al Khawaneej and Al Tayy will also be cleaned by workers.

Abdulmajeed Saifaie, director of waste management at the municipality, said workers would be given equipment to collect and store waste from barbecues, in response to the increased number of visitors and hikers during the winter months.

“The work plan started at the beginning of October,” he said.

“The Municipality staff were able to collect and remove approximately 130 tonnes of general waste from the beginning of October until mid-November from these sites.”

Mr Saifaie said visitors using the desert sites had a duty to show social responsibility by ensuring the area is clean after they use it.

“They must use storage facilities designated for waste disposal and barbecue residues and not set fire to the sand directly but use the fireplace designated for that,” he said.

An online campaign was launched to educate UAE residents on how to safely dispose of rubbish.

“There will be a regular programme for these visitors and we are trying to use drones in audio awareness operations for the public in hard-to-reach areas.”