x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Surfing ban: Jumeirah waives the rules

Surfers are celebrating news that Dubai Municipality has apparently reversed last year's ban and erected signs on Jumeirah Beach to mark specially designated surf zones.

DUBAI // Surfers are celebrating news that Dubai Municipality has apparently reversed last year's ban and erected signs on Jumeirah Beach to mark specially designated surf zones. In the past, some people have been fined Dh200 for surfing at the public beach, with civic officials accusing them of endangering swimmers. In addition, surf boards have been confiscated and surfers ordered out of the water.

However, enthusiasts were delighted last week to find signs indicating a surfing zone had been marked on the Umm Suquiem beach section of Jumeirah. The surfers welcomed the news that they will be given a special area. Scott Chambers, the director of Surf Dubai, who was actively involved in the talks with the municipality, said: "This effort is a testament of how Dubai Municipality is getting behind the sport and how they want safety of swimmers, as well as the sport, to go hand in hand."

Most of the signs were covered yesterday, confusing visitors, who were unsure whether they were allowed to swim in the area or not. However, details on the surfing zones are expected to be released this week. It is still unclear if swimmers will be asked to stay out of the surfing areas as a safety measure. Modern surfboards can weigh as much as 25kg, which makes them a danger for swimmers. @Email:pmenon@thenational.ae