Dubai: People caught selling or making 'paan' will face stiff penalties and deportation, an official of Dubai Municipality has warned.

Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director General of Dubai Municipality, said this as he inaugurated an innovative environmental drive dubbed "Say Yes to a Clean Naif."

Lootah, who launched the campaign in front of Al Kaifak Cafeteria in Al Sabkha area said, "There is a reward of Dh5,000 to those who tip us of on 'paan sellers and manufactures."

The month long campaign starting from October 9 to November 13 is aimed at restoring the charm and beauty of the area.

Road shows under the campaign will involve 12 people who will go round the streets wearing clothes advertising the drive, focusing on cleanliness.

In addition, there will be stilt walkers, stage shows and contests between shops and buildings to select the cleanest shop and cleanest building.

Unhealthy practices

Lootah added that the campaign aims at tackling the problems of unhealthy practices and transforming the busy area to a cleaner place that suits the name and fame of Dubai.

The official went round the area distributing leaflets that provide tips on how to keep the city clean.

He interacted with the public and with those employed in restaurants.

Lootah said that the campaign will create awareness among the residents about general cleanliness by asking them not to throw dirt, cigarette butts and other wastes on the roads and avoid spitting in public places, in addition to discouraging the practice of hanging clothes on the balconies of their flats.

Lootah, who appealed to the public to support the drive, said the campaign will be taken to other areas of the city such as Al Gubaibah, Al Sabkha, Al Fuhaidi, Al Karama, Al Qusais and Al Quoz at a later stage.

The environment drive, which is formulated with social activities, will involve people of different categories in the society including residents and traders in the area. The activities will include road shows involving whoever available at the time in the area and long duration social activities aimed at the area.

The public awareness campaign also includes advertisements in local media.

Clean environment

The municipality has already started publishing advertisements in newspapers in different languages.

In addition to this, there will be the Western Union Clean Store Contest, which will run from October 15 to November 15. The contest will ask people to maintain a clean environment in stores, avoid eating, drinking and smoking in the stores, not carrying too many bags, not leaving goods outside the stores and not dropping litter on the pavement.

In addition to publishing advertisements in the print and electronic media the awareness creating activities of the campaign also include distributing brochures for three days from the starting of the campaign and placing advertisements on buildings and main streets in the Naif area.

What is 'Paan'?

'Paan' consists of chewing betel leaf (Piper betel) combined with the areca nut. There are many regional variations. In Dubai, chewing and spitting of paan, especially in public places, was prohibited following Local Order No 28 of 1985.

Paan is a small parcel of betel nut, tobacco and other ingredients wrapped in a betel leaf, it is largely popular among people from Indian subcontinent. Despite a clampdown by the municipality, the paan trade still flourishes illegally in many lanes and by-lanes of Bur Dubai and Deira.

How severe is the problem? How do you think you, as a citizen, can help in this iniative to keep your emirate cleaner?

Your comments

First of catch those person who either grow or import these betel leaf. Government should see into it that how it is entering in UAE. If Authorities will control that issue then automatically its consumption will be stopped.
Madinat Zayed,UAE
Posted: October 09, 2008, 11:27

what a commendable action taken by the municipality at least now. I've often thought of informing the dirty situation of many areas in dubai to the authorities. Though i'm an expat i love dubai
Posted: October 09, 2008, 11:13

Paan banning is good, so would be the smoking. Let the authorities ban smoking every where, including the public places.
Posted: October 09, 2008, 11:12

Yes, this is an excellent move from Dubai Municipality. The people must know the importance of a clean environment to boost our society heart bit. The ignorance is the main reason, so these types of tough laws learn the people on the good way. Dubai is the roll model and doing lot of humanitarian activities for a brighten future. "Good action best result"
Posted: October 09, 2008, 10:22

Good job that Dubai Muncipality has initiated, apprecaite our Al Karama would be clean and nice to move about. And definately, would inform the authorities, if we as citizens come across betel sellers.
Karama, Dubai,UAE
Posted: October 09, 2008, 10:16

It's about time they started seriously penalizing the paan distributers. Not only does it make the city dirty and spreads diseases, but it is also a very addictive habit.
Posted: October 09, 2008, 09:54

There should be a contact no. and they have to advertise it. So that people can inform them about their building condition.. if that is not clean.
Posted: October 09, 2008, 09:50

A lot of waste bins needs to be put up, I am not saying that there are no waste bins, but more of them needs to be put.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: October 09, 2008, 09:23

Camera's should be placed to monitor the roads to catch people spiting, let it be 'Paan' or anything for that matter. Even paper or any form of dirt. And the person should be fined AED 500.00 / time. We should also appoint individuals to monitor this on a bigger scale.
Posted: October 09, 2008, 09:16

It is my request to you all to start the cleaness from Parco industrial area the smell you get there I bet any one can die from.
Posted: October 09, 2008, 08:46