- 17 February 2009 | Surfing
Surfing in Dubai has not been banned but surfers found in the swimming area of Umm Suquiem 2 beach, near Jumeirah Beach Hotel, may be fined.
The newly cordoned off swimming area is at the centre of the surfing hot-spot frequented by hundreds of surfers.
Dubai Municipality's Coastal Management Section confirmed to Gulf News that no official ban has been issued on surfing at the popular beach.
"I have not issued any ban because there are surfers already there, we know they are there," said Alia Al Harmoudi, head of the coastal zone and waterways management section at the environment department of Dubai Municipality.
However surfers found in the new swimming zone may face fines. "A lot of people are swimming there and it is a safety issue," she said.
Surfers are hoping to co-exist with swimmers on the beach during the few winter months, from November to March, as the swell is suitable for surfing.
Dubai resident and surfer Scott Chambers, 25, head of surf school Surf Dubai, received a Dh200 fine last week by Dubai Municipality for surfing in a newly demarcated swimming zone - also the only surf spot in the emirate.
"There is a real community of surfers here and this is the only place we can come. After speaking to the authorities I hope that we can share the beach with swimmers in the safest way possible," he said. "I would really like to work with the municipality to have a dedicated area for surfers."
Cassidy Woods, 28, a sales director from the UK, has been surfing for the last two years at Sunset beach and believes a happy co-existence between surfers and swimmers is possible. "When the weather is good for surfers it's no good for swimmers. The buoys could be brought closer to accommodate everyone," he said.