Areas either side of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club have been declared families-only, with the municipality putting up bright pink signs to mark them out. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Areas either side of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club have been declared families-only, with the municipality putting up bright pink signs to mark them out. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Family zones welcomed by Dubai beachgoers

DUBAI // Women are being asked to cover their bikinis and dress modestly at two new family beaches along Dubai’s most popular stretch of coast.

Areas either side of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club have been declared families-only, with the municipality putting up bright pink signs to mark them out.

Staff are on hand to ensure people obey dress rules and to keep away groups of single men.

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”.

Although close to Kite Beach, which is popular with kite surfers and sunbathers, the family zones are far enough away from the crowds to offer privacy.

The move was welcomed by tourists and residents who regularly the area in Jumeirah.

“The whole area is lovely but I imagine lots of people are missing out because they felt uncomfortable with how exposed some people are,” said Helen Lockhardt, from Britain.

“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.”

Ms Lockhardt said she would probably visit the new area if it were quieter than the rest of the beach.

“I am quite happy to use that section of beach as there will be no single men there, no large groups of young people smoking and swearing around my kids, and no barely dressed women posing provocatively with selfie sticks.”

Ms Lockhardt said she accidentally fell foul of the new rules while visiting the beach recently with friends.

“A man from the municipality approached me and a few other mums who were there with our kids, explained it was now a family-only section and politely asked us if we could cover up a bit.

“We were wearing swimsuits and tops, so we put shorts or dresses on and he was fine with that. He approached other people, some covered up and some chose to move.

“We were told that in that particular area these were the rules, but on the next part of the beach you can’t lie out in beachwear.”

It is the first stretch of public beach in the emirate to have such rules. Al Mamzar Beach Park, which charges an entrance fee, has women-only days on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Vaishali Raj, head of fashion design at Amity University Dubai, said it was an important cultural move.

“Emiratis dress conservatively and expats are expected to do so as well,” Ms Raj said. “Visitors often lose recognition of the fact that Dubai is very much a part of the Islamic world.

“Liberal as it appears, the recently changed beach 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.

“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.”

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Transmission: seven-speed automatic

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Price: Dh184,500

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Name: Fruitful Day

Founders: Marie-Christine Luijckx, Lyla Dalal AlRawi, Lindsey Fournie

Based: Dubai, UAE

Founded: 2015

Number of employees: 30

Sector: F&B

Funding so far: Dh3 million

Future funding plans: None at present

Future markets: Saudi Arabia, potentially Kuwait and other GCC countries


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Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE


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Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Listen to Extra Time
The specs: 2018 Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio

Price, base Dh485,000 (GranTurismo) and Dh575,000 (GranCabrio)

Engine 4.7L V8

Transmission Six-speed automatic

Power 460hp @ 7,000rpm

Torque 520Nm @ 4,750rpm

Fuel economy, combined 14.3L (GranTurismo) and 14.5L (GranCabrio) / 100km

How much of your income do you need to save?

The more you save, the sooner you can retire. Tuan Phan, a board member of, says if you save just 5 per cent of your salary, you can expect to work for another 66 years before you are able to retire without too large a drop in income.

In other words, you will not save enough to retire comfortably. If you save 15 per cent, you can forward to another 43 working years. Up that to 40 per cent of your income, and your remaining working life drops to just 22 years. (see table)

Obviously, this is only a rough guide. How much you save will depend on variables, not least your salary and how much you already have in your pension pot. But it shows what you need to do to achieve financial independence.


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