One of the signboards installed near Al Qudra Lakes this month. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Municipality has clarified that there isn’t a complete ban on starting a fire or doing a barbecue near Al Qudra Lake, as long as visitors do not damage the environment and follow the rules.

Earlier this month, signs went up right next to the Al Qudra Lake where visitors were warned with the following: “Don’t leave wastes in desert places” and “don’t kindle fire in public places”.

Abdul Majeed Abdul Aziz Al Saifaie, director of Waste management Department at the municipality, told Gulf News that visitors were not allowed to start fires on the sand.

He said: “We put in rules and regulations, we didn’t ban starting fires or barbecues. You can still start fires, but it should be in a proper way in a barbecue pan or in a pot — it should not be on the sand. If you do it properly, it is allowed and you can enjoy it. But if you do it on the sand, you will get a fine of Dh500 or more, depending on the damage you do. But I would correct the information — [barbecues or starting a fire] is not banned, but you are required to do it the proper way.”

Al Saifaie elaborated that because of the area being a natural reserve, with many birds and fish inhabiting the area, littering and careless behaviour can have a direct impact on the wildlife.

“When it rains, some of the charcoal waste goes into the lakes. Sometimes, it can also damage human beings because you leave the charcoal with the fire still on and people can step on it by mistake,” he added.

Al Saifaie also explained the ideal way in which visitors can enjoy the surrounding at Al Qudra Lake without harming other visitors or damaging the environment.

“To do it in a proper way, you can buy the barbecue stand from a supermarket or gas station. Buy that, put your charcoal in it and you can start a fire for whatever reason — you want to keep warm, make tea or make a barbecue. At the end, either you leave it there, we clean it up or you can dump the charcoal in one of the drums that we have provided where it is written charcoal waste and you can keep your stand with you. Other than that, on the sand, you will be fined.”