Dubai: Worried about prying eyes while changing on Dubai’s public beaches?
Don’t fret. A host of attractive changing rooms are now in place to give you that much-needed privacy. One hundred cylindrical changing rooms, topped with an Arabeque-inspired cover, have been installed on all public beaches in Dubai, from Jumeirah 1 to Jumeirah Beach Residences.
Each 1.8 metre diameter room, called Beach Chameleon, has a height of three metres. There’s a small caveat though: It has a 20-cm gap at the base for air ventilation and to prevent misuse of the facility.
And yes, they cannot be used as toilets. The fancy rooms use a steel-and-aluminium frame which stands on 1.5 tonnes of concrete. It comes with wooden flooring, bench and hooks and can also be used as free WiFi hotspots by companies who want to direct users to their landing page.
The kiosks are the brainchild of Emirati entrepreneur Rany Zakaria Doleh, chief executive of Beach Chameleon.
“I thought of having a culturally appropriate facility … people on the beach used to change behind towels, behind the bush or behind a car,” said Doleh, 46.
“We’re part of a lifestyle, by affording beachgoers a clean and private space they require while changing,” he said.
The kiosks are approved by Dubai Municipality and are installed in clusters of two — one for men and the other for women.
“It’s quite useful as it gives beachgoers much needed privacy when changing. It also helps that they’re clean,” said British tourist Nancy Eliot.
Up to 20 staff clean the changing rooms twice daily. They are locked at night and opened at daybreak. There are also six baby-friendly units installed with baby changing tables.
The public can use the facilities for free.
How do they make money? Each kiosk is “brandable” with its 12-square metre wrap-around made of special ultra-violet laminated material. “We provide a unique signature on the coastline targeting beach-goers,” said Doleh.
The kiosks are fabricated in Al Quoz by a local contractor and are also now proposed to be installed in other emirates and coastal Gulf cities, he said.
Are authorities doing enough to keep away unwanted elements from invading the privacy of beachgoers?