For generations, Dubai Creek has been the bustling heart of old Dubai. Dhows, to this day, line its banks, three or four deep on the harbourside, delivering everything from basmati rice by the tonne, watermelons by the hundred, fridges, televisions and even motor parts from their packed cargo hull.
Like working waterways around the world, Dubai Creek is vital for trade. Beneath its waters, however, on the sandy bottom unseen by most people, the detritus of modern living and light industry is taking its toll – tonnes of waste.
In efforts to continue the Bank’s water conservation projects Emirates NBD Private Banking and its corporate responsibility team decided to act – in Dubai and at waterways across the UAE.
The bank launched its Keep the Creek Clean programme in 2018. Under the programme, in association with Divers Down UAE, six bank employees trained as PADI Advanced Open Water divers, 21 employees completed the PADI Open Water course and five PADI Refresher courses were taken.
Since then, the group of divers and diving professionals has worked across the country to remove countless plastic bags and bottles, cans, industrial waste and household garbage that would otherwise pollute the seas.
The bank’s efforts have resulted in the removal of over 5,400 kilograms from UAE waterways since the initiative’s inception.
The programme’s first clean-up dive was in collaboration with Dubai Police at Al Hamriya Port in October 2018. More than three tonnes of waste was collected and disposed of responsibly, including tyres, carpets and aluminium cans.
Since then, the bank and Divers Down have removed thousands of kilograms of waste from other sites across the country.
Meanwhile, the bank hopes to continue to build more awareness of marine debris and pollution and how, together, we can all protect our oceans.
Michela Colella, operations manager at Divers Down, said:
Working with Emirates NBD has been an inspiration to us all. It shows how everyone from individual divers to large corporates can play an important role in helping to keep the UAE’s waterways clean for future generations.
We would love to see more companies get involved training their staff to become divers – and therefore custodians of the seas – and develop their corporate social responsibilities.