x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Labourers find themselves on the outer

Municipality official Arif Al Tamimi says the rules have been created in response to complaints about privacy.

The renovated Corniche opened in 2008 and Zayed University anthropologist Jane Bristol-Rhys recalls watching the seaside path become the elaborate beach park it is today.

There were no restrictions when the area opened, Ms Bristol-Rhys said. Labourers came in droves on their day off.

"Of course, the first Friday this is open all the guys are bused in from Mussaffah. They see a place to go that's free," she said.

"They're always looking. They don't have any money. And then suddenly the Corniche beach was closed."

The beaches reopened with divisions and "permanent fencing to keep the peeping Toms away", Ms Bristol-Rhys said.

The anthropologist, who has extensively interviewed labourers, said she did not know why the changes were made.

"I don't know if the guys were hassling people," she said. "I doubt that they were.

"Everybody's scared and they don't want to do anything that's going to get them in trouble."

Municipality official Arif Al Tamimi said the rules were created in response to complaints about privacy.

"All the rules and regulations are based on complaints of visitors."

* Vivian Nereim