June 26, 2010
Dubai's Public Beaches
My children are living a retro childhood. They wear Zidane jerseys and cried when Aghassi was defeated in the Dubai ATP in front of our eyes. They listen to Madonna and Depeche Mode. They attended Arabic nurseries when most attend English curriculum nurseries. They got their casts and stitches at the Iranian Hospital. They don't watch cable television at home, unless they have a special night at their grandparents where they also get to enjoy popcorn.
They have open memberships at the Dubai Zoo but they don't have beach club memberships. My children swim at the public beaches of Dubai.
We occasionally go to the Royal Mirage for a dip in the pool. These are rare occurences, because my kids are often busy playing golf on friday, or practicing at swim team. We like the Royal Mirage because it gives us the feel of having traveled far and arriving at a destination pool.
But at any random free afternoon or morning, I pack kids, beach toys and towels and head to the public beach. Most of the time, we are lucky to find these beaches with very little people if not empty. We run into the water and sunbathe on towels laid on the sand. We build sand castles and look out for sea creatures. We collect shells and take photos. Sometimes, on half hour breaks between two activities, we run to the beach to smell its air, to watch the sea gulls, to admire the kite surfers, to throw a ball around or to watch the sunset. We never have to worry about paying a hefty price to "enter" or stopping to socialize, as we would have to had we gone to the various beach clubs.
And then we pack up, sandy, half wet, with one thought on our mind: stopping at the closest gas station to buy some ice cream. We only do that when we go to the beach.