UAE | General

Campaign against laundry, satellite dishes on balconies

Sharjah authorities insist rules continue to be flouted despite penalties

  • By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 July 2, 2010
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News archive
  • Engineer Sultan Abdullah Al Mualla, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, told Gulf News on Thursday that a law, which limits residents from installing satellite dishes and hanging laundry on balconies, was implemented in 2004 by the Sharjah Executive Council but residents continue to flout the rules. Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Sharjah: The Sharjah municipality has re-enforced its rules and started a crackdown recently against residents displaying laundry and satellite dishes on their balconies.

Engineer Sultan Abdullah Al Mualla, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, told Gulf News yesterday that the law was implemented in 2004 by the Sharjah Executive Council but residents continue to flout the rules.

"Even though residents have been fined, they continue to hang their laundry on their balconies.

"Balconies were not made to look like a kitchen, and they should only be used for the intention that they were created for. This is a rule that was also applied in Dubai and Abu Dhabi."

Last week, Sharjah Municipality started redistributing pamphlets — printed in English, Arabic, Farsi and Hindi — in residential buildings.

Paying a price

The pamphlet states that anyone who violates rules would be subjected to a fine of Dh250, to be paid within a week. If the tenants fail to make the payment within the stipulated time, the fine would be increased to Dh500.

The pamphlet also states that residents should call the municipality hotline 993 if they have any queries about the rules.

Eng. Al Mualla also stressed that the rules have to be enforced since laundry and satellite dishes are hazardous in the event of a fire.

He further explained that municipality inspectors have witnessed a number of balconies that store discarded objects that face public streets, adding that Sharjah Municipality wanted to stop the practise where people use their balconies as a storage room.

"The landlord is responsible in providing their tenants with a single satellite dish that is placed on the roof of the building, which is connected to all apartments.

"So if there is a satellite dish already available, why do residents buy their own and place it on their balconies? This practise should stop immediately," he said.

However, residents have not welcomed the recent municipality crackdown against hanging their laundry on their balconies, reasoning that they have no choice.

"Using a drier is not enough because it does not necessarily kill off the bacteria. I do not understand why I cannot hang out the clothes in the balcony, especially now when it is so hot and the clothes get dried in 20 minutes," said Meena, a mother of three.

"The building I live in has a space on the rooftop to dry the clothes but my clothes have disappeared on several occasions, so I do not want to go through that risk again.

"If I do not use my balcony I might use a laundry-stand and put it in the living room, but then I will have a problem because the clothes will not get dried as quick.

"And it will also be embarrassing for me if a friend visits me unexpectedly and sees my laundry in the middle of the room," Lubna said.

Fine for ignoring rules

  • Dh250: fine for satellite dish, laundry in balconies
  • Dh500: for failure to pay initial penalty within a week

For queries

A Sharjah municipality pamphlet states that residents should call the municipality hotline 993 if they have any queries about the rules.

What do you think of the crackdown? What action should be taken against offenders?

Comments (11)

  1. Added 17:31 July 2, 2010

    Students have subject EVS - Environmental Studies where in they are taught to save electricity and use sunlight. To dry the clothes, nothing is better than sunlight. Those who do not have balconies have no other choice than to hang the clothes out for drying. Further, those who cannot afford to have washing machine or do not like clothes washed in the machine have to wash by hand and water drips though the clothes are squeezed properly. If room is used how can one sit in the wet room. Many other reasons are there where drying the clothes in this busy scheduled life should be looked into.

    Nima, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:43 July 2, 2010

    if the cloth line is at the level of balcony i feel it should be fine - consider the amont of electricity that will be used by washing machine to dry the clothes when Sharjah has a electricity problem - we save energy costs by drying in air / sun - clothes do not stink and get better dry - sharjah has more area to think of beautifying if it really wants to, industrial are for one is a junk yard, old trucks and cars have been there since decades with filth and dirt all around

    MSR, Shj, Afghanistan

  3. Added 15:17 July 2, 2010

    Especially during summer, if you dry your clothes inside your room, because of humidity it will dry but also stink. Those who support this rule will either be one who is having fully equipped machines to dry their clothes or will be depending on the laundry shops for cleaning their clothes. Regarding the Dish, yes the authorities are right, but they should make sure that the buidling is provided with a dish by the landlord which should be in working condition. You can see in most of the buidings, the dish will be there but you will see only grains in your TV.

    KUMAR, HONGKONG, Hong Kong

  4. Added 14:14 July 2, 2010

    I used to wash clothes every alternate days. after reading all articles abt saving water & electricity i switched to washing the clothes once in three days. but the quantity of clothes in 3 days is too much to come in clothes hanger, so i got the rope also tied in the balcony so that i can continue with the practise of washing the clothes once in 3 days. Now this wont be possible as i would be fined. the authorities should make it clear what is their priority. should we save water & electricity or shud we beautify the place. Talking about beautification, there are lots of important things than hanging clothes on balcony. If u go inside the industrial estate, there are practically no roads where we can drive on. Does that not come under beautification or modernisation? half of the roads does not have markings on it. people dont bother to put wastes in the dustbins in the public parks. i think authorities should pay more attention to these things rather than such petty things as hanging clothes in balcony or dish on window.

    Anjana, sharjah, India

  5. Added 13:27 July 2, 2010

    It is good move by Sharjah muncipality, in fact this action should be taken by every emirates.It looks very bad & occured especially when the laundries r hanging on the rope. It spoils the image & looks of the emirate if the balcony is facing on the main road or visible from a quite distance. I agree due to Hygenic reason we have to hang our clothes in the daylight so due to sunlight alll bacteria r killed. There r otherways to dry the clothes in the balcony as they can buy laundry stand or tie the rope below the balcony ralings so it wont be visible from outside as it will be covered with balcony wall.

    gulbhajaj, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:05 July 2, 2010

    pediatricians tell us that its necessary to dry baby cloths in sun to kill bacteria .

    mrs atif , dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:53 July 2, 2010

    Keeping clothes, dishes on their balconies of the residents is Illegal?? what is this. How it is disturbing any one i dont understand?? If anyone drinking or involved in unsocial activity that should be punish. If dish is not allowed on individual balconies then why authorities allowing any one to sell in open market? I feel this is not a good move by authorities.

    gk, sharjah, Afghanistan

  8. Added 11:51 July 2, 2010

    Good move by the Sharjah muncipality. Some residents try to make their building look so shabby by hanging their stands out of their windows on the tenth or higher floors which is always a risk for the people walking underneath. Some dish antennas are kept on the edge of buidlings and it moves during a heavy breeze awaiting a fall anytime. Fines should be made heavier with full raids and actions everywhere. Only then residents will understand.

    tanu, sharjah, India

  9. Added 11:46 July 2, 2010

    People should be left with a choice where they would prefer to hang their clothes. Unless they build a hanging area on the walls of the buildings, I think the authorities shouldn't have a say in this matter, unless of course they want to provide each household free drier and electricity.

    ALONA, SHARJAH, Afghanistan

  10. Added 11:05 July 2, 2010

    Ridiculous. We wear clothes. In case of Fire Accident that can also catch fire.

    vijay, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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