Abdullah Al-Kandari, a member of the Municipal Council, revealed last week that those who hang laundry from their balconies will be fined. A new campaign will be undertaken by the Municipality starting this month, specifically targeting single men.
According to Kuwait Times report, the Municipality’s aim to improve the look of Kuwait’s residential areas and to reduce unsightly hanging laundry in balconies and windows, “especially in some areas which are considered tourist areas frequented by visitors to Kuwait, especially in Kuwait City and Salmiya,” Al-Kandri added.
But bachelors living in Kuwait are unhappy with the decision. “At first when I read it, I thought it was a joke. Then I saw it in the newspaper and knew it was for real. But I think this law is mostly for the buildings on the main streets,” said 32 year old Raed Zarour, a marketing manager from Jordan who has lived in an apartment in Salmiya for the last five years.
“Who will be fined? The owner of the clothes or the one who washed it and hung it out to dry? Maybe someone will say the clothes aren’t his or maybe they will look around for the clothes’ owner like the slippers in Cinderella. The one the clothes fit, he will pay the fine,” joked Saleh Majdi, a 41 year old Egyptian who shares his flat with two friends.
It’s unclear from the Municipal Council which buildings will be monitored and how inspectors will determine which flats to fine. Though there are many ‘bachelor-only’ buildings in Kuwait, there are also plenty of apartments where families live that hang their laundry on the balcony.
Indeed, many people air dry their clothes on the balcony rather than use a dryer. Some expatriates applauded the decision and argued that it was fair to help improve the look of the country.
Mona Abu Nassar, a housewife from Egypt, said “they absolutely have the right to make their country looks good, we as expats should respect that law. I put my laundry inside, or give it to the dry-cleaners. I think it is an excellent decision, Egyptians should respect it, because if they are living in European country they will respect their laws.” Already other Gulf countries implement a similar system to prevent areas from looking like ghettos.
Zakria Fawaz, a 36 year old engineer from Lebanon who lived in UAE before settling in Kuwait said “it happened to me in Sharjah and I had to pay a Dh 700 (approximately KD 56) fine for hanging my clothes on the balcony.” “I travel a lot, that is why it is not so shocking a decision for me,” said Fawaz.
“But I think the Kuwait government should consider building or investing in launderettes or coin laundries like they have in the United States. It will be great project for Kuwait and the people,” he added.