Dubai: As the weather is cooling down, park officials have warned residents not to pick flowers when visiting parks as it can lead up to a hefty fine of up to Dh1,000.

It is not an uncommon sight to see the odd person gathering a few flowers in a plastic bag around Dubai’s greenery, whether at roundabouts, road medians or parks.

However, officials at Dubai Municipality are adamant about enforcing rules related to plucking flowers, in a bid to cut down the practice.

Eng Mohammad Al Awadhi, Head of Horticulture Section of Public Parks and Horticulture Department at Dubai Municipality, told Gulf News that while picking a few flowers can incur a fine of Dh500, gathering trees and plants in bulk can lead to a Dh1,000 fine.

“Some people have a habit of plucking beautiful flowers as they do it without thinking about the consequences. Throughout recent months, we learned that some groups are purposely cutting large quantities of flowers to sell in flower shops and make a profit,” said Al Awadhi.

“Residents must understand that we have been spending millions of dirhams to import all these flowers and cultivate them across the city,” he said.

Al Awadhi explained that the fine ranges from Dh500 to Dh1,000, and that authorities will not consider any excuse such as age, gender or ignorance about the regulations, as destroying public property is considered a crime, according to the Organisational Decision No 12 of 1998.

A minimum of 14 million flowers are planted each season.

On average, every year, 3,806 flower seeds are allocated for planting on streets, intersections and public parks, while 3 million flower seeds were allocated to new projects in 2012. Al Awadhi also said 230,000 flowers were planted around buildings, and about 43,000 flowers were planted in 2012 at schools, mosques and non-profit organisations.

The public are urged to report any violation by notifying Dubai Municipality’s hotline 800900.

source: gulfnews