Keeping UAE Clean: Laws on Littering in the UAE

Did you know that there are littering laws in the UAE? The government has implemented rules to control and regulate how locals, expats, and residents throw their garbage away. This is a part of the country’s plan to become a model in terms of cleanliness. As an expat residing and working in the UAE, you should know that the national government is eager to create programs that will benefit both of its citizens and the environment.

Also Read: Tips for Expats who want to Explore the UAE

Once you arrive in the UAE, you will notice that environmental issues are still one of the main problems of the country. The government has been working to address the problem. In fact, there are now laws on littering, which consist of penalties and other punishment for those who will be caught littering. Read on to learn more about the consequences.

UAE is considering to impose harsh penalties for litterbugs

Many environmentalists have been proposing regulations that will give more severe penalties and required community services for litterbugs. Both of these consequences must be received by those who will be caught littering: paying the hefty fines first then doing community services in order to teach them lessons and eventually encourage them to stop their habits of littering.

The reasons for imposing penalties

Although littering is controllable by individuals, there are still people in the UAE who can’t keep up with the discipline. The reasons for imposing the penalties vary. The government considered real-life scenarios that made them decide to continue with the regulation.

One environmentalist named Gina Fernandez who proposed the regulation shared her life-death experience because someone threw a cigarette butt that created a fire. She almost lost her life, which made her assert that the UAE police should increase how frequently they patrol the communities in the country to prevent fire accidents caused by irresponsible litterbugs.

Actually, one of the main problems in the country is the random disposal of cigarette butts. In Dubai, it has been recorded that more than 400,000 cigarette butts were thrown at the beach in 2017. Imagine the damage it did to the environment. What more if the cigarette butts caused fires to nearby areas? This is further supported by an environmentalist who said that rangers should also be dispatched to check mountains and deserts for litterbugs.

What is the law on littering in the UAE?

Doing community services because of littering is still pending approval. Currently, the laws on littering include paying AED 500 if you will be caught throwing cigarette butts on the ground.

Some other fines related to littering are the following:

  • AED 200 for spitting or littering in the Dubai Metro
  • AED 500 for throwing gums in a public place or throwing wastes on the road from a car.
  • AED 1,000 for littering while on a beach, spitting in public places, or throwing cigarette butts on the road from a car.
  • AED 10,000 for bringing the waste of other emirates in a Dubai garbage landfill.
  • AED 50,000 for throwing hazardous waste at improper places.

What can you do to support the UAE to address littering?

An expat’s small contribution can be a big help to the country. Littering is something you can control as an individual. Although there are undisciplined people who keep on littering knowing that there are penalties, you don’t have to be one of them. You can support the UAE to address its environmental issues by doing these things:

Have your own garbage bin at home.

Having your own garbage bin or trash bag at home is very useful. Well, some communities in the UAE require homes to dispose of their trash in proper trash bags before the garbage collectors collect them. This is a part of the rule that you should follow. On top of this, you can keep your house clean if you are disciplined when it comes to throwing your garbage.

Look for trash cans when you are walking down the street of the emirates.

Remember that it’s illegal to litter. Cigarette butts, gums, plastics, and so on are not allowed to be thrown on the ground. If you are on the way to work or you are just walking down the street of any emirate in the UAE, look for trash cans where you can throw your garbage. You will frequently see big containers bearing the “biodegradable” and non-biodegradable” labels. Use them properly wherever you are.

Keep your trash and throw it at home.

If you can’t find a trash can while you are outside your home, keep your trash for a while in your bag or in your pockets. Do not throw them on the ground if you don’t want to pay hefty fines. Wait until you get home so you can throw them to proper trash bins.

Do not smoke in public areas!

Cigarette butts are the number one enemy of the UAE environment. If you can avoid smoking in public areas, do it. Remember that it’s not only throwing cigarette butts on the ground that can get you punished. You can also face charges by smoking in public areas.

Bring your trash bag when you are at the beach.

Whether you are going out with your friends or family, bring your trash bag whenever you are at the beach. You might find it hard to look for trash bins so you really need to bring your own plastic where you can put your garbage. Avoid littering at the beach and do not leave your trash on the sand. This is a little contribution that will save the beach and the whole environment.

Final Thoughts

Littering is not a good activity in the UAE. As an expat, you should be aware of the possible fines so you can avoid doing things that will get you in trouble. There will be more updates regarding how the country addresses environmental issues. Tune in for updates and don’t forget to share the news and the tips with your co-expats. Support the country by protecting the environment in your own way.



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