x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Windswept beaches open but exercise caution, UAE officials warn

Beachgoers have been warned to look out for red flags that indicate weather conditions are not ideal for swimming.

Beachgoers have been warned to look out for red flags that indicate weather conditions are not ideal for swimming.
Beachgoers have been warned to look out for red flags that indicate weather conditions are not ideal for swimming.

DUBAI // Beaches across the emirate remained open in today’s strong winds, however beachgoers have been asked to exercise caution and abide by the flag system.

Ahmad Abdul Karim, director of the Public Parks department which runs Jumeirah Open beach, Mamzar Beach, Jumeirah Beach Park and Mamzar Park, confirmed they have not closed any of the beaches. “We would only close the beaches if there was a crisis or some type of environmental disaster.”

“We have rescue personnel raising flags at the beaches every morning that inform people about the water conditions,” he continued. “A red flag means its dangerous and people shouldn’t venture out to sea.

“Lifeguards, rescue, and security personnel are patrolling the beaches all day making sure that people are abiding by the rules and safety procedures.”

The wind will remain strong today and conditions at seas will continue to be rough during the day, said Ahmed Habib, a meteorologist with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology.

However, this evening the wind will start to die down and the seas will start to calm, Mr Habib said.

“When the winds decline or become light – moderate to light – the relative humidity will increase over land areas in the night and early mornings,” Mr Habib explained. “So there will be a chance of some fog.”

Mist and fog is especially likely over interior areas tomorrow and on Saturday morning, he said.

“There is a warning for visibility in early morning,” he said. “The visibility may be reduced with this fog.”

Last weekend, winds of 65 kph whipped up huge waves that battered the Dubai coastline. A woman was swept to her death while taking photos of waves lashing the Palm Jumeirah.

She was believed to have climbed over a barrier and stood on the water breakers in front of the Rixos Hotel on Friday.

In contrast to last weekend, seas will be “moderate in general” this weekend, Mr Habib said.

The temperatures will exhibit “no big change” but might rise a degree or two in some areas starting tomorrow, Mr Habib said. The relatively cool weather is “very normal” for this time of year, he added.

vnereim@thenational.ae

malkhan@thenational.ae