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Dubai hates dogs?


Emaar bans dog walking at the Dubai Marina Promenade

August 17, 2014 9:18 by

When I think of Dubai, dogs are hardly the first thing that comes to mind.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. All I know is that Dubai is far from being ‘dog friendly’.

As a dog owner myself, I tend to think about my pet for approximately… 23 hours and 59 minutes of the day… what can I say? I love my dog.

When I heard about Emaar’s new ban on walking dogs in the Dubai Marina Promenade, I was fuming. I completely understand the need to keep Dubai Marina clean, and to ensure safety in the area, but banning dogs altogether from the promenade is downright ridiculous.

Having a dog sure makes a lot of extra chores for you; one of them is the long walks that you HAVE to take them on. Dogs can help people improve their health, if it was up to my little puppy, Oz, I would be an Olympic long-distance runner… It’s safe to say that I haven’t lived up to his expectations.

With the amount of rules and regulations that have been put on dogs in Dubai, there is no wonder that there has been an increase in abandoned dogs in the city, according to a comment made by the Dubai-based, non-profit dog shelter, K9 Friends, earlier this year.

“I do believe that the ban will increase pet abandonment, but it certainly will not justify or excuse it,” explains Hayley Strifler, welfare manager at Paws Pet Planet and co-ordinator of the Dubai Senior Dog Project.

Now, I understand that I may just be focusing on Emaar’s new rule at the Dubai Marina Promenade, but this is only because this is the most recent case of canine-phobia in the city; however, I could easily name multiple other negative aspects to dog-life in Dubai, including a limited, and when I say limited, I mean an incredibly miniscule number of dog parks in the city, the increase of dog bans in rented apartments, the ban on dogs on all public beaches… shall I go on? We could be here for quite a while.

“If there were more dog-friendly facilities, it would certainly make Dubai pet owners’ lives easier and the pets’ lives more enjoyable,” explains Strifler.

But this isn’t the reality of the situation.

Another reason people own dogs is to take them to different places; to the beach, a cafe or for a walk where there may be other moving mammals, so that they do not develop depression sitting by themselves at home. So far, in my 17+ years of living in Dubai, I have found three cafes that will allow my dog to tag along.

Now, of course, I have a biased opinion because I am a dog owner myself, but so are many other families in Dubai.

Although it seems as though the rule was put in place out of the blue, Emaar stated that the rule was implemented according to the guidelines of Dubai Municipality to keep the area safe and hygienic. “We have requested our visitors to kindly refrain from bringing their pets along the Marina Promenade, as part of the hygienic measures,” a statement by the global property developer read.

Let’s get something straight; dog hygiene is the dog owner’s responsibility, not the dog’s. If dogs could clean up after themselves, I believe they completely would, but unfortunately we have some owners who are just not mindful of others when walking their pets. Maybe the new rule should be that if you do not clean up after your dog, you will receive a fine.

It’s safe to say Oz and I will not be moving to Dubai Marina.

Don’t worry Kippers, I intend to investigate this matter much further, stay tuned for an in-depth look into the dog ban.

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