UAE Issues Warning on Camping Mistakes, Fines Up to Dh15,000
As the UAE desert camping season unfolds, residents and visitors eagerly embrace the opportunity to immerse themselves in the mystique of the desert landscape, adorned with golden dunes and star-studded skies.
Responsible Camping Etiquette and Regulations
However, a seamless coexistence with the fragile ecosystem demands conscientious adherence to regulations, ensuring a harmonious balance.
Responsible Camper's Call
Haniel Jeiel Calma, a seasoned camper with a decade of UAE residency, emphasizes the significance of responsible camping, cautioning against the detrimental act of leaving behind trash. Advocating a "leave no trace" philosophy, he urges fellow campers to carry back memories and dispose of their waste responsibly. Beyond immediate surroundings, Calma underscores the commitment to cleaning up any litter encountered during the desert sojourn.
Designated Zones for Fun and Excitement
Recognizing the public's need for recreational enjoyment, the seven emirates have established designated locations catering to camping, recreational activities, and dune bashing. Authorities prioritize the safety of residents, making winter preparations to facilitate a responsible and enjoyable experience amid the endless golden dunes.
Regulations Across Emirates
While the allure of camping is undeniable, adhering to specific regulations becomes paramount to avoid unintentional violations and subsequent penalties. Designated camping areas, carefully demarcated by authorities, are essential to ensuring a hassle-free experience. Camping on Ras Al Khaimah beaches is prohibited, preserving public spaces for communal enjoyment. Sharjah strictly prohibits entry and camping in protected areas, with violators facing substantial fines, according to the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA).
Awareness Gaps and Unintentional Violations
Cheeryllee Fronteras, a Filipino resident in Sharjah, sheds light on prevalent issues among campers, including the lack of respect for quiet hours and irresponsible waste disposal. Often attributed to unawareness, unintentional violations result in fines, prompting the need for increased camper education on rules and regulations.
Navigating the Rules: Avoiding Fines
To circumvent fines, adherence to the following regulations is crucial:
- Dh2,000 for littering in Sharjah; Dh500 in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah
- Dh2,000 for camping in unauthorized areas in Sharjah and Fujairah
- Dh2,000 for lighting bonfires on the ground; Dh500 in RAK (Jabel Jais)
- Dh2,000 for cooking on the ground
- Dh2,000 for oil spills from vehicles in the wilderness
- Dh500 for barbecuing and grilling at undesignated places
- Dh10,000 for causing ecological damage
- Dh5,000 for entering protected areas
- Dh15,000 for hunting inside a protected area
- Dh1,000 for wrongful parking and violating traffic rules (RAK, Jebel Jais)
Responsible Camping Guidelines
The dos and don'ts include avoiding damage to plants, refraining from feeding wildlife, not swimming in water bodies, proper disposal of garbage, prohibition of loud music, and carrying designated garbage bags. Upholding public order is crucial to creating a shared commitment to preserving the delicate balance of the desert ecosystem.