Dubai Municipality in cooperation with Med K & K Advertising and Marketing Company announced yesterday one of the latest urban projects that many of the advanced big cities of the world are lacking, public amenities. The Dhs50 million project, which is aimed at building 100 public toilets in different areas of the city of Dubai, especially along the roads and squares, will be commenced from 2008. The toilets will be built as per high international standards both in its modernity and hygiene angle. Eng. Abdullah Rafeeu, Assistant Director General for Environment and Public Health Affairs announced the project in the presence of Mona Makki from Med K&K Advertising and marketing and George Chehwane of Group Plus at the joint press conference. He said according to the World Health Organization statistics one third of the world population is suffering from this problem as they use open areas for this purpose thereby posing the threat of spreading contagious diseases of which 1.8 million people, 90% of them children less than five years, die annually. Rafeeu said Dubai Municipality has initiated setting up and management of public health amenities from the beginning itself in the sixties. “This project goes along with the development currently being witnessed by the city. We have provided public health amenities in public places with excellent hygiene specifications matching the best technical applications available in the most advanced cities of the world,” he said.
“In fact, Dubai city, which has a promising future, is facing a lot challenges in the field of public health and environment. The growth of trade and tourism, which will result in the presence of an increased number of people on the streets, markets and public places, will demand provision of public hygiene amenities in all places and markets. Dubai Municipality controls these facilities and takes care of cleaning them in order to prevent the spread of any communicable disease,” said Rafeeu. He said the public health services, cleaning and protection of the environment will benefit all the individuals of all categories in the society.
Rafeeu said public health amenities in Dubai are not new, but it is undergoing continuous enhancement in order to keep pace with the urban development, economic prosperity and global tourism witnessed by Dubai.
“It also becomes another step in beautifying the image of the city with an attractive and beautiful design, which could be seen on our streets by August 2008,” he said. “Dubai has gained the nickname of “city of business and tourism.” It is not just one of the emirates in the UAE but it has been accepted by people in all countries of the word,” said Mona Makki of Med K & K Advertising and Marketing Company, “This achievement of the city has not come as a surprise but as a result of the great effort and hard work as well as the insistence for uniqueness and excellence by sincere people, on top of them is UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” she said.
“This has made Dubai match the big developed cities of the world in terms of modern road network, communications and buildings, festivals and exhibitions with global dimensions, technology and media,” said Makki.
The project, which is going to be taken up by the city of Dubai, is a pioneering project in the whole Middle East, she said, adding that a nominal amount of Dhs2 will be charged for the users of the toilet.
“While designing these facilities, we have taken into consideration the religious aspect and the climate of the region. A team, in coordination with Dubai Municipality, had visited Italy for getting briefed about the operation of such facilities and their construction techniques. The team had also held a meeting with an authority formed by Milan Municipality there,” said Makki.
Giving details of the specifications of the project George Chehwane, Managing Director of Group Plus said the doors of the toilets cannot be opened except by the person inside. “The toilets also will have fire fighting equipments and emergency phone facilities. The toilets will have most modern facilities such as the ones available in cities like New York, Paris and Rome. The advertisement boards on the toilets will add colour and beauty to the city. The toilets will also have automatic cleaning facility so that it remains clean and dry all the time,” he said.
“Studies by world class laboratories have proven that the cleaning facility in these types of toilets exterminates 99.9% of germs and bacteria compared to 30-40% of manual cleaning in the ordinary public health amenities. It is similar to the sterilization of surgery rooms of the operation theatres,” said Chehwane.
Prominent features of the amenity include automatic sensing system for flushing water, sanitizing liquid, tissue papers and hand drier to avoid germs infection; system for washing, cleaning, purifying and sterilizing the walls, toilet seats and floor after each use with water and air with high pressure; automatic opening and closing of doors; due to safety reasons these facilities will be automatically closed from midnight to morning; air conditioning system; automatic voice messages to inform and warn people about the specialties; facilities are controlled online to get accurate statistics and information about the usage, break down and preventive maintenance works; the units are environment friendly as they are designed to consume the lowest amount of electricity and water; protection to resist natural elements, scratches and graffiti; equipped to receive people with special needs; equipped with weight sensing system to prevent doors from locking in case a single child or two adults together; availability of water sprayer to wash the toilet after each use; equipped to set up advertisements inside and outside. This facility is considered to be one of the most important public sector projects implemented by private sector.
Chehwane said the first phase of the project had started way back in September 2005 and the first unit will be operational early 2008 and all units would become operational by next August.
“Dubai will become the first city in the Middle East to have set up such a system. By this Dubai will maintain its position of a pioneering city,” he said.
Dubai Municipality has issued a guide to help shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes and other public facilities in the city to effectively regulate smoking in public places. The guide clearly defines areas where smoking is prohibited, where it is permitted, and lays down conditions for designated areas for smoking, licensing requirements, health and safety regulations. The guide also lists types of violations and the proposed fines for them. This was announced in a press conference held by the municipality and attended by Salem Bin Mesmar, Director of Public Health Department, and Zohoor Al Sabbagh, Head of Clinic and Community Health Section. Mesmar said the municipality’s decision to regulate smoking comes in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan (2007-2015) which seeks to protect public health and improve quality of life for nationals and expatriates residing in Dubai and in line with the Strategic Plan of Dubai Municipality which provides for ensuring purity of interior air and prevention of smoking in public buildings.
He noted that the municipality had already undertaken two phases of this programme under which smoking has been regulated in all shopping centres and malls with effect from 15 September 2007 and in all restaurants and cafes with effect from 18 November 2007. During the next phase, smoking will be regulated in hotels and hotel establishments including motels, resorts, dormitories and furnished apartments.
He said the guide would offer management of the public facilities, where smoking is being regulated, general instructions on the dos and don’ts of the programme that will help them effectively implement it. It would also help educate the general public on areas where smoking is not permitted inside a facility such as entrances, walkways, lifts & escalators, stair cases, lavatories, amusement & entertainment areas, places of employees, offices, cinemas, meeting & conference halls, stores, food courts, prayer rooms & ablution areas, closed car parking lots, shops & showrooms, reception & waiting areas, rest areas, and places close to food services. It also lists areas where smoking is permitted such as the specially-designated areas in the public buildings.
The types of violations, as listed in the guide, include violation of rules and regulations pertaining to import and distribution of tobacco and tobacco products, violation of rules and regulations pertaining to sale of tobacco, smoking in a prohibited place – individuals (, non-adherence by shopping malls, hotels and hotel establishments with the guide, non-adherence by restaurants and cafes with the guide, non-adherence by mass accommodations and health establishments with the guide, non-adherence by amusement and recreational centres with the guide, non-adherence by owners of public libraries, theatres, clubs, music party halls, museums, art galleries, wedding halls…etc, and violation of general rules and regulations on areas designated for smoking.
Tips for Driving Under Adverse Conditions
Driving on Snowy or Icy Roads
• Set the selector knob to 4H position. Gently release the clutch and apply the accelerator for a smooth start and to avoid wheel spin.
• Use of snow tyres and / or tyre chain is recommended. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles to avoid sudden braking and slow down by shifting down the gears. Avoid sudden acceleration, braking or turning. Such sharp manoeuvers can cause loss of traction and thereby loss of vehicle control.
Driving on Sandy or Muddy Roads
In case the traction on the wheels is sufficient, you may be able to proceed in 4H mode. However in case change in road conditions are anticipated, it is better to select the 4L mode. Shift the selector knob to 4L position by following the correct procedure and proceed in the normal manner. Your vehicle will move at a slower pace with higher engine RPM in the same gear because of the 4L mode. To match your power and speed requirements, you can shift up in any of the 5 forward gears or the reverse gear.
You may choose to reduce the tyre pressure marginally for additional grip on loose surfaces, though with a slight loss of ground clearance.
Try to maintain a constant engine speed and avoid sudden acceleration which can cause wheel spin and loss of traction, possibly leading to bogging down of the vehicle.
If the vehicle gets stuck in loose sand, do not keep on accelerating as the wheel spin will only result in the wheels sinking deeper.
The extent of muddy / sandy, conditions and the traction available is difficult to judge and the vehicle can get bogged down deeply. Operation should be done at slow speed only. If possible, get down and check the path conditions before proceeding.
Driving Through Water
Never venture to drive through water when it flows over guard stones. Engine may get seriously damaged if attempted to cross over through deep water.
If at all the situation demands that you have to drive through water then;
– Keep engine in fast idling and crawl the vehicle in low gear.
– After driving through water apply brakes several times to dry liners and to regain original braking.
Do not attempt to start the engine if vehicle gets flooded due to water.
Driving on a Rainy Day
• Check brakes, steering and windows.
• Check tyres for wear and tyre pressure.
• Check wiper blades for proper functioning.
• Avoid harsh braking and sharp turns. It may cause loss of control and lead to a skid.
• For slowing down, shift to lower gears and brake gently.
• Keep lights ON if visibility is poor.
• Dip the head lamp for oncoming traffic during night driving.
• Maintain a speed such that you can stop within illuminated distance of head lamps.
• Use head lamp main/dip beam to alert other road users on turns/cross roads etc.
• Use side indicators for lane change or turning.
• Put on hazard warning switch in case of hazardous parking or if your vehicle is disabled to warn the passing traffic.
Climbing Sharp Gradients on Loose Surfaces
• Select the 4L mode, start off smoothly in any suitable gear. Apply power smoothly so that there is no loss of traction by over-revving of the engine.
• Choose as smooth a slope as possible and select the appropriate gear so that gear changing in the middle of the climb is not required. Changing gears in the middle of the climb can cause loss of momentum and engine stalling. Shifting to lower gear has to be done cautiously to avoid loss of traction.
• Under no conditions should the vehicle be moved diagonally across a hill. The danger is in loss of traction and sideways slippage, possibly resulting in tipping over. If unavoidable, choose as mild an angle as possible and keep the vehicle moving.
• If the wheels start to slip within few feet of the end of the climb, motion can be maintained by swinging the steered wheels left and right, thereby providing increased grip.
• If the vehicle stalls or losses headway while climbing a steep hill, make a quick shift to reverse and allow the vehicle to move back with the control of engine compression.
Descending Sharp Gradients
• Select the 4L mode and depending on the severity of the gradient, shift into appropriate gear. Use engine braking judiciously without over-revving the engine.
• Brake application under such situations should be done very smoothly to avoid loss of control. Select appropriate gear so that gear changing or clutch disengagement is not involved while descending the gradient.
Towing the Vehicle
• For towing the vehicle, the best way is to use a recovery van.
• Alternatively use a rigid tow bar.
• Avoid using flexible cable or rope as your vehicle may crash into towing vehicle when it stops suddenly.
• Switch ‘ON’ Hazard warning switch to warn the other road users.
• Keep the engine in idling so that power steering assistance is available. This will also built the vacuum for the brakes.
• In case of brake failure, use parking brake
Reckless motorists ‘will be forced to clean roads’
WAM Published: December 09, 2007, 23:20
Abu Dhabi: Stunt drivers and motorists who violate road manners in Abu Dhabi will be punished by being forced to clean the roads and school for 48 hours in addition to one week behind the bars, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday.
Brigadier Nasser Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Interior Minister’s office, revealed Abu Dhabi Police would crackdown on violators who abuse the roads and obligate them to work for two days in cleaning up the schools and roads.
The decision, which took effect on Sunday, aims to intensify punitive measures against offenders who drive dangerously and recklessly with no respect to safety.
“Although we appreciate the public celebrations of national and religious holidays, that does not mean people can take this as a chance to break the law, endanger their lives and those of others, breech the privacy of road users and tarnish the image of the UAE,” Brigadier Al Nuaimi said.
He warned against negligence of public safety, which will be monitored by a team of security men, who will be assigned to cover all parts of the city including roads and public places, to put an end to this menace.
Al Nuaimi said an awareness campaign would shortly be launched to raise awareness among the public about the security, health and cultural dangers of such practices and their negative impacts on the nation.
The decision came in the wake of violations committed during the National Day celebrations, as some drivers were caught driving recklessly, making loud noises and using firecrackers.