Dubai authorities and doctors have warned beachgoers to stay out of the sea as illegally dumped sewage has contaminated parts of the emirate’s shoreline, according to published reports. The sewage has blackened the waters surrounding Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, close to Jumeirah Open Beach, and further up the coast in the same area.
The advice comes just days before the Eid public holiday, which traditionally sees families flock to the city’s beaches.
Mohammed Abdul Rahman Hassan, head of the marine environment and sanctuaries unit at the municipality, urged people to steer clear of the affected areas. “People [should] refrain from using the area until we clear the contaminated waters. A team from the municipality will visit the spot on Sunday to assess the situation,” he said.
Dr. Suresh Menon, a specialist in internal medicine at Jebel Ali Hospital, said that ignoring advice could have catastrophic consequences. “It’s very dangerous to go near the water as it may contain toxic chemicals detrimental to people’s health,” he said. “Apart from skin diseases, people may develop liver and kidney problems from the contaminated water.”
An official with the municipality’s drainage department told the newspaper that the problem had occurred after sewage was illegally dumped into a storm water drainage network connected to the sea.
Keith Mutch, general manager of Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, which has had to suspend its operations for the past two weeks, said that the area had been completely ruined by the sewage. “It’s become like a big toilet, with black colored water floating all around. A number of our members have developed skin rashes, eye and ear infections after coming into contact with the waters,” he said.