Following a flurry of noise complaints and safety concerns from residents of the Pearl-Qatar over jet skiers and speed boats, management has said it plans to crack down on violators.
Speaking to Doha News, a number of residents have expressed unhappiness about the machines and their riders, who are apparently disrupting sleep and encroaching on restricted residential areas, including public beaches where children play.
American expat Kelly Wright said she was worried the jet skiers could cause injury:
“Besides the annoyance of my son being woken by them at all hours, I’ve also seen multiple swimmers almost get hit, because the jet skiers and boats come right up to the beach at speeds too fast to see.
I went to the beach yesterday, and the jet skiers did stop where the buoys were, but they were driving right up to them, making a show, creating a big wake as they did… Some smaller kids playing by the water’s edge got knocked off their feet by the waves, and toys were washed into the sea. “
In an email to one resident, the management of a tower in the Viva Bahriya district admitted they’ve received more than 200 complaints about the issue.
In response to the complaints, the United Development Company (UDC), which manages the island, told Doha News that it has been holding meetings with the Ministry of Interior and Coast Guard, and is beginning to take action to keep the jet skiers and speed boat owners at bay.
In a statement, UDC said:
“An agreement has been reached whereby the Coast Guard will officially start patrolling the waters of The Pearl-Qatar in order to clear violators and trespassers away. An initial limited operation took place last Thursday whereby some 25 jet skis were seized and we expect that the agreement and ensuing operations will go into full speed today (Thursday, April 24.)”
The residents’ complaints come in addition to the problem of noise pollution on the island from sports cars and motorbikes, an issue which also prompted an outcry from residents – and a response from UDC, which banned all non-resident motorbikes from the island last December.
At issue to many residents is that some riders deliberately take the vehicles into areas of the Pearl where their use is banned, including small canals and near the properties with beach access.
Many residents say the machines are a long-standing problem. Last year, for example, Pearl resident Juliette sent Doha News this video of jet skis next to Viva Bahriya beach. It shows them coming right up the beach, as children play nearby:
Meanwhile, resident Kasia Pearce recounted a frightening encounter her husband had while paddle boarding in the island’s waterways last week:
“My husband was attacked by three jet skiers which circled around him until he fell into the water. I called the police but since he was only distressed and not physically injured, they did not take much notice.”
Viva Bahriya resident Sarah Greenwood says that jet skiers are using the waterway between Towers 17 and 18 as a “short cut,” while blaring music loudly.
She added that Pearl authorities have been trying to block off either end of the canal with floating pontoons to stop jet skis and boats passing through, but these have apparently been vandalized by jet skiers.
According to the manager of one resident’s tower, who received more than 200 complaints about the jet skiing issue, the company had been “doing its best” to resolve the problem. He cited eight meetings with UDC management and contact with both the police and Coast Guard.
Have you been affected? Thoughts?
My family and I live in Qanat Quartier (Venetian District) and have complained over 100 times over the past year and a half. No proper or permanent action was taken. It was a nightmare! I hope it will work out this time.
People on super charged jet skis and power boats with loud music have no respect whatsoever to the residents, they start as early as 6am until 11pm non-stop, this became very common and out of control. The canals between the buildings act as tunnels thus the noise is multiplied and becomes unbearable. I’m glad to see UDC taking action and hope it lasts.
Here yet again is another example of people showing a disregard of the law and the safety of others. Regardless of the nationality and I am sure that there are many nationalities involved, it shows that these people feel or know that the laws will not be enforced against them. Just like the roads, enforcement is the key. The MOI has done well on a number of matters recently but I question if the authorities want to sink their teeth into the issue of driving on the roads and waterways.
People complain about a video showing a boy in a primary school who misbehaves but then finds himself through poetry because it is against the “culture” or values or morales of society, but accept this disruptive, and inconsiderate behaviour or see no correlation to affecting values or morales? In a traditional and conservative society, it’s the traditions and conservation that should limit behaviour that is unbecoming or unwanted, when youth are given free reign and not informed of the impact of their actions then those traditions and values aren’t held for the future generations and you end up with a smaller and smaller pool of people that represent what this country is about and then you get more frustrations across different communities and less openness, more suspicion and at the end of it the actions of few have made it intolerable for the many. Round them all up and throw them into cultural sensitivity classes, engage them in competitive sport, civil service and community building, it’s a great advertisement for joining the army
Jetskiers don’t simply want to ride their Jetskis, they want to ride them where people can see them….
It is indeed a danger to be on the beach during daytime, when the jet skis are around. A constructive solution which is practiced in many countries of the world would be not to allow Jet Skis within 200m of the shore other than in designated launching areas. I was myself harassed by Jet Skis several times when paddling around the Pearl. Throwing me off the board is apparently fun..
The ban and enforcement is definitely a good initiative and I had the pleasure witnessing from my window today how the entrance to the Viva Bahriya marina was blocked on both sides by police boats (canal between the towers and main entrance). I hope this continues and the Jet Skis find other play ground! Thanks UDC!
Hi I had the same experience three days ago, two of these jet skis where playing with me when I was paddling just beside the shore around viva bahriya entry port.
They just passed high speed one in the front and one in the back, and then they just started to throw me water with the jet skis until I fell into the water, then they continue to pass around me while I was in the water, until they decided to go away. I hope they will no cut also us on the paddle SUP.
This area which is called “The Pearl” is moving towards being “The Forbidden City”!!!! Come on…No motorcycles, No Sport Cars, no…no….no…. I suggest building a new “Great Wall” all around the island and keep it more isolated!!!!
It’s not motorcycles, sports cars, etc its the people operating them. Like the LCs on the roads, all it takes is a donkey behind the wheel the ruin everyones day.
in fact these look like bored young boys; they should all be sent to work or do the military service to learn discipline and respect
Since the parents obviously do not teach respect I’d agree with your solution.
many parents are absent around here……they are the first problem, in fact.
It’s actually a “No” to the things that make other peoples lives miserable. Maybe if people had common sense and respect for others they would be welcome. Some people don’t want their children (or themselves) endangered by idiots on jetskis and don’t want to be kept up half the night by the noise they make. They want to be able to go for a walk with their dog on the footpath at The Pearl and not be in danger of being killed by an out of control car that’s racing. Too much of the “look at me, look at me” attitude among the jetskiers when all the residents are thinking “go away, go away”.
When those things are used to make a lot of ungodly noise and disturb people, then yes, it’s a big no to them. Those inconsiderate boys need to get a life and stop bothering others!
Another great advert for living on The Pearl!
Bad news.. As I write, the Jet Ski highway is open again, no sign of any Coast Guard boat.. Yesterday was just an exception 🙁
Correction 15:30: The boat just made its appearance and is chasing Jet Skis away! Way to go! Thanks Coast Guard!!
So typical. No respect for others. Such a dysfunctional society/ community is Qatar. Ohh and don’t for one minute expect the authorities to enforce the law. Just look at the roads.
Only the government can really deal with this issue! By the way, where is this beach at the Pearl?
There are a few. End of Porto Arabia and down that stretch to Viva Bahria, and some on the inside of VB as well. Photo at the top of the article is the internal “lagoon” of VB
Saturday, 15:30. No Coast Guard Boat, but plenty of Jet Skis 🙁
I live in Viva Bahryia (VB) and had wondered why the increase in jetski and boats in the last few weeks, until I hired a ski myself from the slipway at Lusail and was specifically told to watch out for and use the channel which leads in to centre of VB. The reason for this is that the bridge at the lower Pearl string has been closed by coast guard due to a VIP living in one of the villas there.
Right now there are skiis in the middle of VB, the noise is not as bad as motorbikes used to be in Porto Arabia, but when the towers here advertise keenly the “beach” that is encouraging people to swim, which is never a good idea in what is now a boat route…..
Don’t worry Jack, the wonderful bike noise has moved to the Lagoona Mall now. Just choose any evening to come and hear the revving, skidding, see the wheelies, or simply enjoy the two wheeled peacocks parading on their bikes, especially the ones who’s legs cannot reach the ground. Zig Zag, Hyatt and Lagoona Bay residents just wait for Thursdays and Fridays in anticipation now………..