ABU DHABI // A new public beach will open along the Corniche by August.
The 1.5km stretch will be free entry and open to everyone – male, female or families.
Sand is in place but facilities need to be added before it opens, said Nahla Al Muhairi, head of the events and beaches section at Abu Dhabi Municipality.
"There are some certain things we would like to add. We don't want to open a beach without any small facilities inside, showers for example, changing rooms ... this is the thing that we are following up with," she said yesterday.
The area, which is currently boarded off, will open "in the middle of this year," she said, adding: "I cannot give you an exact date but it will be before August."
Construction of the beach, which runs along a section of the Corniche, between the current public beach and Mina Zayed, began almost three years ago, she said.
"There was previously sand with rocks. They have brought more sand and made sure that the levelling of the sand is equal in the whole stretch," said Ms Al Muhairi, who added that parking will be available and additional lifeguards would be brought in to keep an eye on swimmers.
Demand is such that a new beach is always welcome in Abu Dhabi, she said. "People always request beaches. They want to have more beaches in Abu Dhabi.
"We have this long stretch so we would like to give the best service for them so people can come and enjoy the beaches."
Longer-term plans for the new section include volleyball and football areas, as well as a children's playground.
View A guide to Abu Dhabi's beaches in a larger map
There are also plans to offer more activities along the Corniche as a whole, although a section will be kept just for swimming, away from distractions.
"There is a big demand for sports activities so that's why we are working on a plan of bringing a lot of sports activities and boats, kayaks and all this stuff to the beach," explained Ms Al Muhairi.
"We will start by this June at the main Corniche and then we will test how people are enjoying these kind of activities and then we will try to spread it through the whole beach."
Many events, such as the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and National Day celebrations, are already held at the picturesque seafront stretch of the city, but more are planned for the future.
They will include community events, as well as more activities with an environmental theme, such as the promotion of recycling.
The new public beach, which is yet to be named, will be open from 7am until sunset every day.