Residential apartments in Karama and Bur Dubai decorated with festive lighting ahead of Diwali. Revellers are expected to be out across Dubai on Thursday night to celebrate. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: The sale and use of fireworks is illegal, Dubai Police warned ahead of Diwali celebrations this week.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is an important celebration for the Indian community.

Organisations wanting to celebrate the festival using fireworks need to obtain permission from Dubai Police and Dubai Municipality.

Revellers are expected to be out across the city on Thursday night to celebrate and they have been incidents of people using firecrackers in the past.

Lieutenant Colonel Ayoub Abdullah Gangazar, head of the Dubai Police campaign to raise awareness on the dangers of fireworks, said: “Fireworks start off as fun, but usually end in disaster. We have seen children playing with fireworks ending up with severe burns or other injuries.”

Dealing in fireworks is a serious offence, he said, stressing that possession or sale of firecrackers is the same as being in possession of explosives.

The Dubai Police campaign starts annually just before Ramadan and continues till after Eid Al Fitr.

Fireworks seized

During the campaign last year, Dubai Police seized 9,554 boxes of fireworks from various shops and warehouses.

“We also caught some people who sell fireworks through social media, such as Whatsapp,” Lt Col Gangazar said.

In 2013, police teams found a warehouse that had more than 70 tonnes of firecrackers.

“Our goal is to explain the dangers of firecrackers to people through our awareness campaign,” he added.

A senior Dubai Municipality official also said that shops found selling firecrackers will be shut down and the items seized.

“We have always said that this is not allowed. The police will also catch them [sellers]. There have been lots of accidents and injuries because of firecrackers. If any company wants to have a big event [using fireworks], they have to come through Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police,” Sultan Al Suwaidi, head of public safety section, said.