Monday, January 31, 2011

DM earmarks beach for surfing

As part of its keenness to provide a safe beach environment that can attract all categories of visitors to the public beaches in the emirate, Dubai Municipality has recently set aside a location for windsurfing activity at the beach area at Umm Suqeim-3 adjacent Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Open public beaches in the emirate are witnessing a lot of water sports practices and beach activities by different nationalities and age groups making Dubai the ultimate recreational destination, said Eng. Alia AbdulRahim Al Harmoudi, Head of Coastal Zone Management and Water Channels Section of Dubai Municipality.

“Surfing is one of those beach activities that is very popular and accepted by a large number of residents and tourists,” she said pointing out that many of the fans of these sports head for the Emirate during the particular seasons for this purpose and exchange information among them on the condition of the sea and other things through forums and websites created for this.

Al Harmoudi noted that the process of breaking waves significantly helps practice this activity, which requires the availability of a specific correlation between the characteristics of waves and the topography of the seabed that makes the location very much exclusive.

She added that after the artificial island projects have been commenced, the only site in the emirate where this activity could be practiced is the beach area at Umm Suqeim-3 adjacent Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Harmoudi revealed that during the last year the Municipality received many complaints and observations by beach goers because of the overlap between surfing and users of the beach for swimming.

She said that after a systematic technical study of the location a part of the said beach at a width of 900 meters has been allocated for the windsurfing activity separated from the areas designated for swimming.

“The location is identified through the flags and signboards that have been placed on the beach in addition to the warning signs floating in the sea,” said Harmoudi.

She appealed to the practitioners of the sport on the need to adhere to exercising this activity at the location specified by the Municipality and not to infringe on the adjacent areas allocated for swimming and to preserve the safety of beach goers, and pointed out that actions will be taken against the offenders.

Harmoudi said that the Coastal Zone Management and Water Channels Section is also working on a study to determine the different locations on the open public beaches in the emirate for the other beach activities that affect users of the beaches and threaten their safety, especially the activity of Kite Surfing, practiced by thousands annually in the periods when the winds are active.

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