With its lavish six-star hotels and glitterati reputation, Dubai has quickly risen to fame as a tourist paradise. But now that fame might be heading towards infamy, as sewage including excrement and the contents of septic tanks has been pouring onto Dubai’s tourist-filled beaches.
Doctors are warning bathers that they run the risk of contracting typhoid and hepatitis, The Jordan Times reports.
How did such a glamourous place come to have such a filthy underbelly?
The answer lies in the development of Dubai itself. The population of Dubai was 1.3 million in 2006, and has rapidly expanded since. But while new apartment blocs and neighborhoods are mushrooming throughout the region, Dubai still has no main drainage system.
Septic tanks are collected and transported to the only waste treatment plant nearby, located in Al Awir in the open desert. This plant is now operating at maximum capacity, so that tanker drivers sometimes have to wait more than 10 hours in the stifling heat, breathing in stinking waste fumes.
The disaster began in September: Some tanker drivers who were sick of waiting started dumped the contents of their tankers into ditches that are intended as run-offs for rain. This dumped waste runs into the sea, and then onto the beaches.
After hearing that 55 tankers had dumped sewage into these runoff ditches, local authorities have issued a heavy fine for waste-dumping and have encouraged drivers to inform on offenders. There is understandable concern among these authorities that when tourists catch wind of this problem, Dubai will lose its allure.
:: The Jordan Times via Mideast Environet
Green Prophet has covered the topic of beach pollution in depth. See some of our previous articles:
Israel Cleans Up its Act and Recycles its Beach Waste
Battle for the Beach
When the Sea Turns Into Our Toilet