A view of the desert around Jebel Hafeet park in Al Ain as seen from the top Jebel Hafeet Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Authorities in Al Ain have implemented a barbecue ban on one of the UAE’s highest mountain point – at a time when outdoor picnics are reaching its peak.

According to the Arabic news site 24.ae, Al Ain Municipality has banned residents from setting up barbecues at Jebel Hafeet.

Jebel Hafeet is a popular local tourist destination that stands at 1,240 metres high, and usually sees an influx of residents from neighbouring emirates who visit the site during the cooler months.

“The barbecue ban was implemented due to the negligent behaviour of visitors, who damaged the area’s appearance and the public facilities offered within the vicinity,” said a municipal official who was quoted by 24.ae.

“Some people burnt the wooden benches on the mountain while others threw charcoal and barbecue waste on to parking lots and on the mountain top. Such types of litter was difficult to clean and also posed a threat to the environment.”

Al Ain Municipality explained that it has taken into consideration the popularity of barbecuing during this time of year, and urged residents to choose alternate picnic spots in desert areas away from houses and residential areas.

However, there still remains Al Sulaimi Park on Mohammad Bin Khalfan Street if residents are looking for a green area to barbecue.

Residents who barbecue in undesignated areas will be issued with a warning by municipal inspectors, and if the offence is repeated, they may be slapped with a fine. The municipality did not clarify what the cost of the fine will be. In Dubai, the municipality has the authority to slap violators with a Dh1,000 fine if they are caught building fires and barbecue on beaches.