According to a Gulf News report published in March, 2014, the Dubai Municipality has intensified its campaign against motorists and beach-goers who throw their cigarette butts on roads and public beaches, and will slap first-time offenders with a Dh500 fine. Spitting and throwing chewing gum on the street is also punishable with fines. While the campaign focuses on the littering of cigarettes and other pieces of paper, the municipality is also trying to curb the unhygienic habits of people who spit on the roads.
Abdul Majeed Saifaie, director of waste management department at Dubai Municipality, said in an earlier interview with Gulf News: “There are people who, when stuck in traffic, have a bad habit of opening their door and spitting on the road. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and even though we have issued clear signs in public areas stating that spitting will incur a fine, motorists continue to do it.”
Municipal inspectors keep a strict watch against littering and spitting in public and do not show any leniency against offenders who have no regard for the city’s cleanliness. These inspectors are armed with receipts and legal authority to note down car plate or labour card numbers of people caught spitting, littering or throwing cigarette butts. The civic body has launched an awareness campaign aimed at educating individuals and shops in the commercial areas in Deira about the penalties for the violations under the Local Order No 11 of 2003 concerning these violations.
Dubai employs around 3,000 street and community cleaners to ensure a hygienic environment for its residents. Chewing gum is prohibited on the Dubai Metro and all other modes of public transport including buses and water buses. Additionally, according to the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) rules and regulations, eating, drinking and smoking inside RTA’s air-conditioned bus shelters is also an offence. A fine of Dh100 is slapped on commuters found violating this rule. The concern is that passengers would either spit it on the floor or just stick it on the seats, doors or holding bars in the train or buses.
Similar fines are imposed in the emirate of Sharjah. Those who throw their cigarette butts on roads and public areas receive a Dh500 fine. If they are caught doing so a second time, the fine will double, and then triple for each repeat offence. Spitting is also punishable with a Dh500 fine in most emirates. In Abu Dhabi, the fines start from Dh200 for littering and spitting in streets and public places is also punishable with a fine of Dh100, which is implemented by the municipality.
Tossing rubbish into the Dubai Creek and any of the emirate’s other water bodies can land you fines ranging from Dh500 to Dh5,000.
A Dh1,000 fine is imposed on people caught chewing and spitting paan juice (betel nut). Betel leaves are banned in the UAE and bringing them into the country is illegal. If a person gave a tip-off to the authorities about illegal paan traders or factories, he or she will get Dh2,000 as a reward.