The city of Dubai is also an emirate, on the north eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai has a large community of expatriates and plenty of tourist activity, which is clear from the great number of luxury resorts. It also has a strong Muslim identity. Lately, there has been a shift towards creating public spaces that are exclusively for women.
Al Safa 2 Park in the Al Wasl neighbourhood is a suburban park that is open to women and children only, on weekdays. Mothers of small children meet in the park to relax or chat, while their children are occupied in the play areas. Jumeirah Beach Park on Jumeirah Beach Road, only twenty minutes from the star class PER AQUUM Hotels & Resorts property, has Monday and Wednesday of every week reserved entirely for women and children. Males over the age of four years are not permitted. The park is open from 8am to 10.30pm and only female staff, including lifeguards, cleaning and ticketing staff, are scheduled to work during these days to ensure maximum comfort for guests. However, the locally accepted dress code is required even within the confines of the park.
Other recreational venues are now following suit. The Dubai Municipality has shown interest in the initiative and will block off Al Mamzar Beach Park on Sundays and Tuesdays between 8am and 10pm. There are future plans to add fitness and sports facilities as well that cater only to ladies. Further measures are in the pipeline to divide Al Mamzar Beach with separate sections for female tourists and locals. Other venues also offer occasional ladies’ only specials like Thursday nights at Wild Wadi Water Park. There has even been a call for a female-only resort to be built in Dubai.
Damon Starky is a creative nomadic travel writer, who is well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler.