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Thu 4 Sep 2014 11:58 AM

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Dogged debate: Should canines be banned from Dubai Marina?

Different sides of the argument have their say

Dogged debate: Should canines be banned from Dubai Marina?
(AFP/Getty Images)

Following the recent move by Emaar to ban dogs from Dubai Marina’s walkways, we asked the city’s residents for their views on the problems Dubai is facing from both a pet-lover and loather’s point of view.

Peta Wittig, Australian, founder of Adopt-Me

"I think being a dog owner in the UAE and indeed Dubai is very tough. Between restrictions of places to go, and the constant negative publicity of those irresponsible dog owners – the responsible dog owners are left trying to stay out of people’s way – but at the same time give their dog exercise and socialisation, which is proving more and more difficult.

"I think it’s fair to say dog owners are okay for ‘no go’ zones, but there has to be allocated places where doggy people get to enjoy their four-legged friend. It’s disappointing that a few irresponsible dog owners ruin it for the rest of us. Instead of banning dogs from areas, enforcement of rules and engaging the community is the best solution for everyone to get along and enjoy Dubai’s beautiful spaces."

Nasser Al Falasi, Emirati, founder of Dubai Dogs Society

"A lot of people have been affected emotionally by [the new Marina rules], mostly residents because that was the only place close enough for them to actually walk their dogs and socialise them with other dogs, and it was taken away from them because of a few irresponsible owners.

"One careless owner can affect the entire image of every dog owner in Dubai. It is very important for every dog owner to acknowledge that his or her careless actions can drive us backwards. It is a must that before we ask our government to create places such as dog parks, that we first gain their trust by creating an entire community of respectful and calm dogs.

"Our culture has nothing to do with dog hatred in the UAE, our religion never promoted hate for animals; in fact it enforces good morals such as being gentle to animals. I believe the dislike [of dogs] comes from the people who only encountered careless owners, who blame their dogs for everything they do and for the lack of knowledge.’

Jason Freeman, British, Dubai Marina resident

"Dogs are not being banned from the Marina – just from the busy tourist-friendly promenade area. Dog walkers move at an erratic pace and slow down fellow residents. Larger dogs can intimidate children – or even adults. And as well as being one of the most disgusting sights on the streets of otherwise civilised countries, dog waste spreads disease (yes, I’m sure you clean yours, but clearly not all owners are as considerate).

"The acts of one person’s pet can cause displeasure or disruption to the lives of hundreds. Please don’t be so selfish as to think this is your right, especially when there are still plenty of places in Dubai, and within the Marina itself, where dogs are still welcome."

This report was originally published by TimeOutDubai.com

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Sam 5 years ago

When you have backwards oriented developers like Meraas who even ban walking or parking your bicycles from JBR then you can only expect the same nonsense regarding dogs.

Make clear rules to avoid littering etc and I do not see why there should be any problem with walking around dogs on a leash.

I guess its always easier to make a full out ban than make an effort in regulating such issues.

Karl G. 5 years ago

Dogs are not banned from the Marina, this is a "sophism"....Why there are not banned:

1) Signs are only polite request not to bring dogs into the Marina Promenade
2) Emaar doesn't have legal right to ban anything, there a private company
3) The Municipality has said that there is not a law behind this

Without a law, a ban can not be enforced, is just a guideline, as asking people not to hang clothes on the balcony....

So I suggest to dog owners just to put it on perspective and do whatever they think is correct....As the such called "ban" is just simple not a ban...

MOSA 5 years ago

Animals should be banned from every public place. Keep the pets in your own homes or shelters, or get a villa and enjoy the liberty but taking them around in public places, having them sniff around peoples clothes n pooping/peeping everywhere - is disgusting, and that's the main reason Emaar is banning them. It is a brave and sensible step.

Jim Girard 5 years ago

There are dogs everywhere in Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Rome, and many other very populated world class cities. So, what is different about UAE? There must be something much deeper than they are messy as that is not the case in all these other world class cities? What is really behind this unfriendly attitude towards dogs that is not present in other highly populated and upscale cities?

orietta 5 years ago

If u allow animals in a country and u sell animals you must give a chance to the owner to walk them, is the responsibility of the owner clean where they poo, if they don't give a fine like in all the other country.
Organize more park, organize area for dogs before to ban.

Adebee 5 years ago

Mosa - your thinking is just plain backward and not welcome in a city that works hard to promote a healthy open minded and cosmopolitan approach to life.

It's people like you that think 19th century whilst the rest of us embrace 21st.