ABU DHABI // Two long awaited women-only beaches in the capital are expected to be completed by early next year.
Women have been demanding an exclusive public swimming area since the popular ladies-only beach at Ras Al Akhdar closed more than five years ago.
Nahla Fahad Al Maheiri, head of the municipality's events and beaches section, said the municipality had "been receiving many calls from women in Abu Dhabi who wished to have a private beach for them".
"There has been a long-time demand from ladies of the emirate for a ladies-only private beach and this is going to come up" in Al Bateen by the end of the year or early next year, Ms Al Maheiri said.
The ladies beach will be open to all nationalities. Ms Al Maheiri did not have details about the facilities that might be available. Al Bateen already has a public all-access beach.
A new full-access public beach is also expected to be ready next year. Studies for the design and location of the beach are continuing, and no date has been fixed.
Another ladies beach is being completed behind the Abu Dhabi Officers' Club.
It will be built and operated by the Officers' Club and will also be open to women of all nationalities.
The swimming area on the Corniche was extended last week with two new sections of beach that can accommodate up to 3,000 people and are free to access.
Part of the waterfront expansion project, the two beaches are on either side of the family beach and the Corniche's other long-term amenities. A staging area for special events and facilities is also planned.
The municipality is "keen on providing every means of entertainment and environment suitable for various sports, such as a football pitch and volleyball playground", said Badreya Al Dhahiri, director of community services at the municipality.
Access to the beaches will be unrestricted, but swimming will not be allowed after 6pm.
The Corniche has 26 food outlets, 47 toilets, 35 showers and 52 changing rooms.
The beach can accommodate more than 15,000 people and has five volleyball areas, two football pitches, four children's playgrounds and three general playing areas.
This article has been amended since it was published. No construction is yet ongoing on the ladies beach and there is no date set for completion