If you walk along the streets of Bur Dubai, it is hard not to notice cards from various massage parlours strewn all over the pavement. Often, these distasteful cards, with provocative pictures on them, are also stuck on the doors, windows and windscreens of parked vehicles.
They are not only embarrassing and annoying, but also create an issue of littering, thereby distorting the image of the area in a detrimental way.
I have been observing this sad fact for many months, with these rule violators arriving at any time of the day and simply throwing cards on the sides of the road or sticking them on vehicles. Though they are usually on foot, I have also seen some of them riding bicycles along the pavement and just dropping off these cards by the dozen as they ride along.
Earlier this year, the Dubai Municipality, along with Dubai Police, carried out a campaign in several areas of Dubai and seized more than seven million such cards. However, there seems to be no proper solution to this grave issue, as the menace still exists in various areas.
Heavy fines and possible deportation for offenders were proposed to counter the menace of massage card distribution in Dubai and I believe that the authorities probably need stricter implementation of such punishment to be effective. Stern corrective action, through the concerned departments, must be taken at the earliest to curb the situation, with increased legal powers, including criminal action against offenders.
Neelam Kapur, an artist based in Dubai, was asked about her opinion on the issue.
She said: “Every time I see the roads and cars littered with massage parlour cards in such a distasteful manner, I feel a sense of alarm and disgust. I appeal to those concerned to take the necessary action immediately.”
Yana Mirpuri, a homemaker based in Dubai, shares the same sentiments.
She said: “Despite many attempts by the Dubai Municipality, to accomplish a thorough crackdown on massage parlours in the emirate, there seems to be no resolution in sight for Dubai residents who face a daily barrage of cards, offering unwanted massage services, placed on their cars. You park on a street somewhere around the city, and come back to find cards offering massage services just a phone call away. And what’s more? The residents simply throw these filthy cards on the road, visible to all age groups who may be walking past, including innocent children, which is a shame.”
I request the readers to do their bit and dispose these cards, either from the streets or from their cars, in a trash can to maintain the cleanliness of their surroundings. Furthermore, let us not forget that there are a lot of children in our neighbourhoods and I am certain that no one would like their children to witness the kind of imagery used on these cards.
We are proud residents of Dubai and must aspire for maintenance of aesthetics as well as cleanliness.
In a report published in Gulf News in October 2014, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) explained that advertising on business cards is illegal, and as per an agreement between the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Interior, companies are not permitted to have employees distribute business cards on streets.