If you’re headed to areas either side of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club this holiday, listen closely.
These beaches have been declared families-only, The National reported, and as such women are expected to dress modestly and “stay away from groups of single men.”
It is the first such rule for a public beach in Dubai.
“Signs state that the beaches are ‘dedicated to women and families only’ and order all visitors to ‘wear respectful swimwear,’ which means women must be fully covered,” the report read.
Vaishali Raj, head of fashion design at Amity University Dubai, told the National of the cultural significance of this move.
“Emiratis dress conservatively and expats are expected to do so as well. Visitors often lose recognition of the fact that Dubai is very much a part of the Islamic world,” she said.
“This step, far from being off-putting, should prompt the visitor to want to know the origin of these rules and how covering of body is viewed in modest fashion,” she added.
Raj explained that the rules “should be taken as a positive step to awaken tourists to the vast journey the place has travelled in its outlook in such a short span of time.”
Meanwhile, visitors welcomed the dress code, saying it makes families more comfortable when visiting these spots.
“The whole area is lovely but I imagine lots of people are missing out because they felt uncomfortable with how exposed some people are,” Helen Lockhardt, from Britain, told The National
“This gives families who aren’t comfortable with the many scantily clad people an area where they can set up. Dubai is very tolerant but it was getting a bit ridiculous down there,” Lockhardt added.