Sleepless nights and unbearable noises: residents of a compound in Doha have resorted to the law for help.
Residents of Al Messila compound have found themselves in a spiral with Al Messila Luxury Resort, which is located a few kilometres away from their home, over ‘loud music’ coming from its wedding halls.
Ever since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on weddings, the cheerful music and joyful beats for those inside the halls have been a ‘nightmare’ for those on the outside, often leading to many sleepless nights and headaches.
A disgruntled resident voicing the concerns of her neighbours told Doha News, that the blasting noise often plays past midnight, even on school nights, making it hard for families and children to sleep before 1am.
“Some nights, like last night, there is deep underlying drumming that is unbearable. We hear it in all our bedrooms even with the windows closed and curtains pulled. It’s very distressing and you can’t relax in the house at all,” one resident said.
“We live about 2km away and it’s as loud as if there’s a party happening next door! Last night was a midweek night, we were required to get up for school and work at 5am. The music was still loud at 11pm.”
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By-laws for community protection
As per the environmental Executive By-Law (4/2005) decree Law No.30 for the Year 2002 on Protection of the Environment by Annex 3/5, the maximum noise limit at night in a residential area should be 45 decibels.
The standard for noise control has been made to protect the population against fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances and stress, which can be consequences of long exposure to high levels of sound. Health problems can affect all age groups, especially children.
A report found that children who live near airports or streets with a high level of noise-pollution have greater chances of suffering from stress and other problems such as impairments in memory, attention level and reading skills.
Residents at Al Messila compound claim that the music disrupting their downtime, is much higher than the ascribed lawful limit.
Another resident told Doha News that the consistent loud noise that takes place almost daily has significantly “declined [their] quality of life and wellbeing.”
“We have to wake up at 5:30am to go to school or work and oftentimes the noise would have stopped only 4 hours prior ,” she said.
“Lack of sleep affects our mental and physical health, and sometimes even affects our driving. It is really serious,” another resident added.
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Similar complaints have emerged from various members of the community in the area nearby, prompting them to complain to their landlord who reached out to the resort, but no response from them was received.
After reaching a dead-end, residents decided to mobilise the one approach that is usually deemed effective—social media.
Several members of the compound began posting videos of the disturbances from their homes on Facebook and Instagram, demanding the resort to take action and end what they dubbed as ‘miserable nights.’
A few days into the social media campaign, the hotel reached out to the residents albeit with a response that did not offer a solution. One resident said: “After I called them to issue a complaint, they offered me free lunch, but no solution.”
Doha News spoke to Al Messila Luxury Resort on Thursday, where they claimed that after receiving the complaints, the resort ‘implemented all the necessary measures for the comfort of our guests and neighbours.’
The hotel’s manager added that they ‘lowered’ the noise to ensure that it does not reach any of the surrounding areas.
The calm, however, only lasted two days. Less than 48 hours after the resort’s statement, residents were dragged back into their nightmare as the same noise level persisted once again, until the early hours of the morning.
With the resort’s seeming lack of solution to the problem, the community affected by the disturbances drew up their own recommendations in a desperate attempt to end their struggle.
“The resort can set up something called acoustic partitions. You basically just need [to apply] soft furnishings around. So if they’re going to have a wedding outside, maybe they could have some kind of structure over it,” one resident recommended, whilst another recommended soundproofing venues for inside halls and lowering music for the outside.
“They can do noise impact assessments, and they can ask people for help on this. There were lots of different environmental consultants here in Qatar that could help them.”
It remains unclear what Al Messila resort will do to solve the discomfort inflicted upon its neighbours on a daily basis, but if left unsolved, the situation can exacerbate to serious health implications and damage to tens of adults and children.
Residents told Doha News that they will contact Al-Baladiya (Ministry of Municipality) as the last desperate resort to control the noise pollution.