The number of bookings for winter camping in coastal locations has reached 800, with 711 camps at the Sealine Area and 89 at Khor Al Udeid Protectorate, said Ali Ghanim al-Humaidi, Sealine Unit inspector at the Natural Protectorates Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

He told local Arabic daily Arrayah that the number of campers at both the Sealine Area and Khor Al Udeid are the largest compared to the other winter camping locations across the country, especially since these areas have been provided with various services and a number of retailers have their outlets there, mainly food and beverages.

The official explained that only one violation has been issued since the start of the winter camping season for this year (2020-2021), which is considered the least compared to the previous years. The violation in question was issued for a camp without a valid licence. The offending structure was removed and the necessary legal procedures against the violator taken.

Al-Humaidi pointed out that the campers have a high level of awareness about the proper procedures and practices to be followed so as to avoid any damage or harm to the surrounding environment. He said that the inspectors of the Sealine Unit work hard to monitor the commitment of the campers with the set standards and instructions to maintain the conditions of their licences with special focus regarding the preservation of the environment. So far things are going well across all camps' areas with a high level of commitment.

However, he said that most of the camping violations registered frequently are due to the irresponsible practices of temporary campers who camp only during the weekends, and the majority of the violations are regarding Law No. 18 for 2017 on Public Hygiene. Such violations mostly include throwing garbage and barbecue waste in undesignated areas though there are adequate number of garbage containers well distributed across the beach. "You can find a trash container at every 20m in the camping area," he added.

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