Abu Dhabi's fairer sex calls for the right to sunbathe: 'Open the Ladies' beach'
Ladies only beaches are only option for some: “I am veiled. I can’t wear a bathing suit in public.”
The ladies only beach was a welcome site in the area. A place for women to enjoy the outdoors, swim, get a tan or even read a book away from prying eyes.
When the beach was closed in 2002, promises were made for a face lift and renovation. The upgrades were to include an extended beach area, new restaurants, a health club, a recreation centre, new swimming pools, parks and chalets.
Nine years later, it seems that little progress has been made, and no expectations when the beach will likely reopen. “The ladies beach was the only place I could go to practice my favourite sport,” Batool told Gulf News.
“I am veiled. I can’t wear a bathing suit in public,” she further added.
Omneya shares Batool’s thoughts.
“The ladies beach was the only outlet for us veiled women; where else can we go in the summer heat that lasts more than six months,” she said. Women have no other alternative, according to Nihal.
“When the ladies beach closed I joined the Ladies Club though the membership was very expensive,” Nihal said.
“I could workout, enjoy spa and swimming. Now even the Ladies Club is closed since December 2010; we were told it will be relocated, it seems that all private places for women are being taken away, I wish an alternative was provided first,” Nihal added.
Despite several attempts to contact the municipality for a response, no comment was given.
People from many nationalities and religions consider Abu Dhabi home. The Ladies beach was the only place moms could take the children to while dads are at work. Providing a playground where women feel relaxed to enjoy outdoor sports in comfort, while respecting the fundamental practices of their religions is something women of this cosmopolitan city would like to have â" again.
I could workout, enjoy spa and swimming. Now even the Ladies Club is closed since December 2010; we were told it will be relocated, it seems that all private places for women are being taken away.”
By Iman Sherifa