RAK beaches are beautiful but residents demand facilities
RAS AL KHAIMAH // The country’s northernmost emirate has a wealth of beautiful beaches, but residents and visitors complain about a shortage of basic facilities such as toilets and showers.
Many people said it was time the authorities invested in creature comforts, and called for shaded seats and shops.
“I always come to RAK, but this is my first time coming to this beach and I noticed that there are no shops and toilets,” said Kumar Saravana, 35, who brought his family to the beach from Dubai.
“I know many people come here, so it would be better if they provided trees and umbrellas and made the beaches for more family friendly.”
Charlemagne Detoyato, 32, who has lived in RAK for three years, said she loved the emirate’s beaches but she felt that more services were needed.
“I think they have to add more bins and signs to people not to throw their litter on the beach,” she said.
The Filipina human resources worker said the presence of lifeguards and police patrol cars was essential for peace of mind.
“Also, because it is an open beach, providing changing rooms and bathrooms is very important,” the 32-year-old said.
Ms Detoyato’s friend, Charity Ga, a Filipina administrative officer, travelled from Abu Dhabi to RAK to enjoy beach resorts but she was on her first trip to an open beach.
The 31-year-old said it would be better if RAK’s beaches were more like those in the capital, with all the facilities visitors needed.
“If all the facilities were here, I would prefer this to the hotels and resorts,” she said.
Massad Saeed, a Yemeni driver who has lived in the emirate for 30 years, liked to take his children to an open beach beside the Hilton hotel on Al Maareedh Street because of its wide spaces and handy car parks.
“When I want to take my children to a beach, I bring them here. But I cannot leave them alone because there are no lifeguards and security,” the 55-year-old said.
“It is a nice place but it needs more services, including cafeterias and shaded sitting areas for families.”
In September last year, the general command of RAK Police organised a meeting with municipal and emirate departments to look at introducing lifeguards.
The police also raised the issue of personal safety and security of the public at beaches.
It was agreed that lifeguards should be introduced but no further action has been taken.
It was unclear where responsibility for putting lifeguards on open beaches in RAK lay, as both RAK Municipality and the public works and services department denied the task was theirs.
Brigadier Ghanem Ahmed Ghanem, director of central operations at RAK Police, said the maritime rescue team was always prepared to deal with emergencies and that police vehicles patrolled the emirate’s coastline day and night.
However, he said, it was important for beachgoers to cooperate with police and stick to beach rules posted on signboards, as well as to keep an eye on children at all times and avoid swimming at night.
Published: January 24, 2016 04:00 AM