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Dubai extends hours for women-only beaches
The Dubai Municipality has expanded times for women-only access to beaches across the Emirate.
Extending existing women-only Mondays (between 8am and 10pm) at Jumeirah Beach Park to Wednesdays at the same location, the initiative now operates at Al Mamzar Beach Park on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Only boys below the age of four will be allowed in the park on ladies-only days with all lifeguards, cleaning and ticketing staff being female.
Dubai Parks and Horticulture Department Director Ahmad Abdul Kareem explains "we (have already) had a tremendous response with 1,500 women coming to Al Mamzar already (and) we are planning to add fitness and sports facilities for women.
"One of the best exercises for older ladies and students is in the pool and sea. Clubs will be able to use the beaches to develop teams."
The beaches are also segregated for different groups of women: Al Mamzar beaches 1, 2 and 5 are reserved for female tourists while beaches 3 and 4 are local women, student school groups, elderly women and women with disabilities.
At Jumeirah Beach Park, the right section near the ladies club will be designated for locals, while the left section near the restaurants will be for tourists.
Complaints about "inappropriate" swimwear worn by tourists prompted the decision to demarcate areas, the municipality said.
Kareem added "we decided to classify our beaches according to needs of different visitors.
"Tourists want to swim but local women come with friends, children, bring their own food and enjoy the day."
Dubai women have backed the initiative with UAE Down Syndrome Association Chair Sonia Al Hashmi explaining that it was not always safe to take special needs children to a crowded beach.
She explained "this is a chance for girls and children with special needs to enjoy life and live normally."
Image used for illustrative purposes only.
5th March 2012 - PUSH FOR WOMEN-ONLY SWIMMING IN CANBERRA
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