Dubai’s street cleaners

Dubai isn’t a clean city ‘by nature’. In fact, there are days when the roads are so dirty, especially after a sand storm. Then there are people who litter, bunches of them! Cigarette butts fly off from cars, plastic cups, pet bottles…however, Dubai dispatches these orange guys on the road, sweeping sand, dirt and trash all throughout the day – RISKING life with the fast cars on the side.

Even in summer. (And we all know how summer can be here in the Middle East.)

Once I caught a guy casually throwing a plastic cup after he finished his morning tea (people walk on the streets with piping hot spiced milk tea) so I walked up to him and told him why he’s doing that. I was new here and came from Japan. The scene was the most unnatural for me. He shrugged his shoulders, said “There are street cleaners, madam!” and walked away.

I went to work  and told my colleagues – someone said “If there are no trash throwers (litterers), those orange guys (the sweepers) won’t have anything to sweep, lose their jobs and make their family hungry madame!”

Horribly implying that we need to make the streets dirty to feed some hungry family in someone’s home country! How utterly wrong.


  1. No matter what a person’s job is, I do NOT condone littering. In fact, I HATE it. It angers me to no end and makes me very sad to see all the trash everywhere-You should come and see the U.S. It’s HORRIBLE 😦

    I’ve always wanted to go volunteer to pick up trash because I feel that strongly about this issue.



    1. I can imagine the litter in the US – as seen in the movies!
      Dubai is so clean but it’s because of these guys, otherwise, people litter too much it’s heartbreaking, especially for us, coming from Japan where littering is almost a crime!



  2. Hong Kong, there is a strong fine for littering in the public.its seen both as socially unacceptable and a public offense (you will be fined if caught perhaps jailed/community service)

    Toronto, its a public/lawful office to dump trash in inopportune locations even if its bagged up!
    Most Torontonians don’t see it as socially unacceptable as most are very educated on what is biodegradable and what is not. But people still do it, and there is garbage littered everywhere! Not very clean at all and there are no civil servants out there picking it up as its a union industry so there aren’t many people being fined.



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