‘The conservation of marine environment comes in the top priorities of the civic body as both the past and present of Dubai are deeply connected with the marine activities through which our forefathers laid base for this dynamic place that became the most vibrant business hub in the world,’ said Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality having inaugurated the ‘Marasina’ campaign to preserve marine environment under the slogan ‘Caring Our Marinas… Caring Our Environment’.
The colorful opening ceremony of ‘Marasina’ campaign held on Wednesday in the creek side opposite of the DM headquarters in Deira was attended by assistant director generals, directors and senior officials of Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services.
Eng. Lootah said the campaign is aimed at spreading awareness on the importance of preserving marine environment among fishermen, shipping companies, vessel crews, and general public who use seaside for evening entertainments through different activities, programs and competitions.
The opening ceremony included several items such as traditional performances, heritage shows, traditional markets and cleaning of the depth of creek.
‘It is the ninth consecutive year that the civic body holds the campaign and the increasing support from the society encourages us to repeat this campaign every year’ said Khalid Suleten, Head of the Environment Emergency Office with Dubai municipality.
‘A wide and effective cleanup program in collaboration with different authorities and segments of society is scheduled as part of the campaign. The waste collected from marine areas and depth of creek will be transported to designated sites for recycling,’ he said.
Khalid highlighted the special care given to Dubai creek and recalled the history saying: In the early 20th century, Dubai was a small coastal village inhabited by Al Maktoum family. Unlike its neighboring emirate, Dubai lacked the fertile oasis, so its inhabitants settled along the banks of the creek and involved themselves with fishing, herding sheep and goats, pearling, and trade.
‘Soon, Dubai became a sufficiently prosperous port attracting settlers from Iran, India and Baluchistan. The facilities for trade and free enterprise were enough to make Dubai a natural haven for merchants. These people were mostly of distant Arab origin and looked across to the Arab shore of the Gulf finally making their homes in Dubai,’ he said.
‘Crossing the creek during those times meant a long and arduous journey around the end of the creek or a ride in an Abra, a small wooden boat that ferries passengers to this day. Today, the city is connected via modern bridges and a tunnel that runs underwater,’ he continued.
‘A walk through the wharf on Dubai’s Creek amidst the hustle and bustle of business evokes memories of the city’s trading past. We can see trucks laden with goods and laborers hurriedly loading the dhows with cargo ranging from car tires and batteries, to soft drinks, fabrics, bags of rice to electronics and other consumer goods destined for the markets in the neighboring countries of Africa and the middle east and beyond,’ he added.