Muscat municipality to fine people for drying clothes on balconies

Officials believe the practice is ruining the image of the capital

Muscat municipality to fine people for drying clothes on balconies

The quickest way to dry your clothes in Oman is undoubtedly to hang them out of a window or on a balcony, and has been going on for centuries.

But now anyone caught with their bedsheets blowing in the wind could be handed a massive fine, or even end up in jail, for ruining the beauty of the Sultanate’s capital.

Officials from Muscat Municipality are warning expats and locals against the practice as heaps of laundry which is visible from the street can make a building look awful.

According to municipality law, “hanging out laundry on the balconies of buildings is a violation which can lead to a fine of between OMR50-5,000 or a jail sentence between 24 hours and 6 months in length”.

Instead of using the age-old drying method, the public are being encouraged to use electric driers to improve the image of the city for tourists.

The municipality also said those who want to continue to dry clothes on balconies would need to buy a screen to hide the washing.
A statement from Muscat Municipality said: “Despite the practice becoming less apparent than in the past, it is still a hygiene and public appearance issue especially among buildings which overlook main roads, commercial centres, and markets which may be part of tourist areas, which forces specialists at Muscat Municipality and other authorities to take a strict approach to the practice.”

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