Dubai Municipality Makes Beach Access Easier for ‘People of Determination’
Seven beaches in Dubai are all set to welcome ‘people of determination’ with its new passages and access signs. The Dubai Municipality (DM) has changed the beach access signs in Al Mamzar beach park, Al Mamzar Corniche Beach, Jumeirah Beach III and Umm Suqeim beach 1 and 2, responding to the leadership’s vision of changing society’s perception of people with disabilities and elderly.
Alia Al Harmoudi, director of environment department at the DM, said more public beaches will be included in the next phase. The changes were made to connect the beach access to the specialised parking slots for the people of determination.
Earlier, Dubai had launched a National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities, revolving around six pillars, including health and rehabilitation; education; vocational rehabilitation and employment; mobility, social protection and family empowerment; and public life, social and sport.
As part of the strategy, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had announced that people with disabilities will be called “people of determination” and those responsible for the services at organisations will be called “services officers for people of determination”.
Al Harmoudi said that the move is meant to allow people who experience mobility difficulties to enjoy their beach experience.
“As active members of society, people of determination deserve to be provided with the facilities that increase their access to services. This step is just the beginning,” she said.
Al Harmoudi said the changes are part of a Dh35-million project set to carry regular maintenance of marine facilities and coastal protection for the next two years. The project includes preventive and corrective maintenance to enhance marine facilities including floating anchors, swimming barriers, beach maintenance, coastal protection facilities and pollution barriers.
Rescue teams are all set for emergencies
Anticipating an influx of beachgoers during summer, the Dubai Municipality has formed an integrated rescue and safety team to meet emergency situations.
The civic body has provided 30 rescue platforms across the emirate’s public beaches, including nine main platforms and 21 sub-rescue platforms. A total of 85 trained lifeguards and supervisors are now working to enhance the safety of beachgoers.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Dubai Municipality, said the civic body supervises the training of lifeguards on a regular basis. The total number of training hours for rescuers reached 32,375.
He said lifeguards were also provided with wireless communication equipment and marine rescue equipment needed to perform first aid. Beaches are now equipped with CPR equipment and oxygen gas cylinders among other medical devices needed to carry out initial rescue operations.
Lifeguards were also provided with 100 rescue boards and lifebuoys, besides the various means of transportation including five jet skis and eight beach buggies equipped with necessary equipment to facilitate their mobility and shorten response time to emergencies.
The environment department has also designed special areas for marine sports and activities at Umm Suqeim I and Jumeirah 3 beaches, to ensure safety of the beachgoers and provide adequate space for sports away from swimming areas.
Visitors to the beaches for leisure or marine sports can visit www.dubaicoast.ae to check the state of the sea. The site presents real-time data and meteorology as well as live images of the beach.
The municipality also provided drones to rescue swimmers from drowning.
Alia Al Harmoudi, director of environment department at the Dubai Municipality, said no deaths or drowning cases were recorded from July last year until now.
Hi-tech safety measures in place
> Robot rescuer: A remote-controlled 25cm-robot rescuer shaped like a boat, reaching up to a speed of 35kmph or approximately 12 times the speed of a human was launched in last September
> Drones: The locally-made drones, equipped with accurate cameras drop lifebuoy rings to help save lives on public beaches
> Lifeguards: A total of 85 trained lifeguards and supervisors are put in place to enhance safety of beachgoers
Where you will find the new signs
> Al Mamzar Beach Park
> Al Mamzar Corniche Beach
> Jumeriah Beach III
> Umm Suqeim Beach 1
> Umm Suqeim Beach 2