x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai beachgoers reminded of conduct

Police issue new rules for beachgoers in a bid to ensure good behaviour and safety on public beaches in the emirate.

DUBAI // Police have issued a new set of rules for beachgoers in a bid to ensure good behaviour and safety on public beaches in the emirate. The rules, posted on the Dubai Police website, cover issues ranging from what to wear when swimming, where and when to swim, and what to do to avoid sun stroke. Beachgoers are instructed to wear a life-jacket when swimming "to avoid the risk of drowning", to avoid swimming after sunset and when a red flag is raised, and to refrain from taking photographs while on the beach. Advice is also given to 4x4 drivers after instances of motorists speeding on sand dunes close to families with children. Several beachgoers were less than enthusiastic with the new rules.

"The idea that you can't take photos if others are in the frame is a little extreme," said Kurt Smith, a Scottish national living in Dubai. "When the beach is empty, like during the week, its fine, but on a weekend it's impossible." Larissa Locher, a Swiss national here on holiday, added: "I am not OK with some of these rules. Why should I wear a life jacket? It makes things difficult, and it will stop people from coming here." Several recent incidents on Dubai's beach have led to police involvement, the most notable resulting in the Britons Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors, who were convicted last year of having sex on a beach in Dubai.

Two foreign women were each jailed for a month in September last year after they were caught participating in indecent acts in public on Al Mamzar public beach. It was not clear what punishment would result from disobeying the police's new beach instructions and how they would be enforced. *nsamaha@thenational.ae