Since the closure of the ladies beach at Ras Al Akhdar in 2002, Emirati women in UAE's Abu Dhabi have longed for the return of a beach haven away from prying male eyes. Now their hopes are to be realised with the opening of two women-only-beaches in 2013.
reported the exclusively female beaches will be in Al Bateen and open to women of all nationalities. Additionally, a woman-only-beach is planned by the Abu Dhabi Officers' Club, to be run by the club.
reported that the closure of the ladies beach left veiled Emirati women with nowhere they could enjoy the freedom to wear a bathing costume. Now their demands have been heard, meaning they will be free to take their children to the beach and enjoy water sports without the restrictions of Islamic dress.
Whilst foreign women are not required to adopt Islamic dress in Abu Dhabi, they are asked to be respectful to local culture and dress modestly. Swimwear is allowed at private hotel beaches but tourists and non-Emirati residents are urged to dress modestly on public beaches. In June Digital Journal
reported that Emirati women launched a campaign to encourage women to dress more modestly.