There is a common problem that I see in Dubai, especially in areas with workers’ accommodations. I believe there is a rule that clearly states that no clothes should be seen hung in balconies, as it is unsightly and the water from the clothes drips on passersby below. But, people still continue to do it.
They need to be educated so that they stop. They need to be told why it is bad and why it has been banned in the first place. The concerned authorities could conduct awareness campaigns to highlight specific issues related to this issue. Additionally, people should also consider hygiene as an important factor for not drying their laundry in their balconies.
One thing to focus on, is smell. If the clothes are put out to dry, they can absorb the smells from the smoke created by vehicles, mold, pollen or even the food from restaurants around. These can lead to allergies and cause health issues.
Another issue is bird droppings falling on clothes. If this happens, they would have to wash them again. Some stains cannot be removed and would leave marks.
In the UAE, the weather is not supportive either, as there is a lot of dust in the air and the days are mostly humid. There are chances of sandstorms in the summer and rainfall is also unpredictable in the winter season. There is constant construction going on, too. This could damage one’s clothes.
Ronalin Aldofo, a sales executive based in Dubai, has also come across this issue in Bur Dubai, where he sees clothes hanging in most balconies.
He said: “It looks so bad! Most of the time, there is water dripping from the balcony. I believe we must do our part, as the Municipality is doing a great job trying to maintain the beauty of the city.”
Kristen Allen, a relationship manager based in Dubai, agrees and blames the lack of space for this issue.
She said: “I guess the problem has more to do with the workers’ accommodations, as they house a larger number of people and a bigger quantity of laundry is put out to dry in balconies.”
I agree that most buildings have a lack of space to air-dry laundry, but that doesn’t mean people can place it in plain sight. To some, clotheslines are considered eyesores that lower and endanger property values.
As Dubai is popular amongst tourists, we have to help maintain the cleanliness of this city. It seems people think the authorities are not serious about this particular issue and so, they keep repeating the mistake despite being aware of the fines. There should be periodic checks and fines should be given. The authorities could also host a campaign to highlight the areas where this issue is frequent, so it serves as a warning that they are under notice.
— The reader is a sales coordinator based in Dubai.
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Dubai residents are not allowed to hang clothes, install dish antennas or place junk in their balconies, as stated by the Dubai Municipality. Those who do, could face penalties as high as Dh1,500.