x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Public shame policy for beach offenders

Lifeguards have been ordered to blow the whistle on people behaving inappropriately on Dubai's public beaches.

DUBAI // Lifeguards have been ordered to blow the whistle on people behaving inappropriately on Dubai's public beaches - literally. A lifeguard working on Jumeirah Public Beach - where police and security guards have stepped up efforts to stamp out indecency - said his colleagues often found couples hugging and kissing in public. "As per the instructions given to us, we blow the whistle and politely ask them to stop. Most people listen to us but those who do not, get into trouble."

The increased vigilance is part of a range of measures introduced by police and the municipality to ensure behaviour on the beaches is in keeping with the country's moral standards and follows the recent arrest of a British couple for allegedly committing an indecent act while drunk. Officials say they are also responding to complaints about people sunbathing nude or scantily clad, men staring at women and public displays of affection.

"We feel more safe and protected," said Ragini Seth, a Dubai resident who visits the beach often. The National spoke with several visitors, lifeguards and security staff at Jumeirah beach this week. They said security patrols had increased in the past few days and many people have been warned against inappropriate behaviour. @Email:pmenon@thenational.ae