Dubai: Dubai Municipality declared open Dubai’s first “night swimming beach” last night. For all those who miss swimming past sunset, Umm Suqeim 1 Beach, almost a kilometre away from the iconic Burj Al Arab, is now available to swim till midnight.

Previously, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police, the two entities in charge of beach safety, had restricted night swimming on Dubai beaches on account of safety issues.

As reported first by Gulf News last week, the change in the government policy follows the installation of two “Smart Poles” that will automatically provide high-intensity lighting on the beach after sunset.

The 12-metre Smart Poles, a project by D Idea Media Company, provide enough visibility for night time swimming and have been set up to allow people to enjoy the sea at night, according to the company’s founder and CEO Viktor Nelepa. Besides ensuring proper lighting using the solar and wind-powered Smart Poles, the civic body also assigned lifeguards.

Residents and tourists can now swim till midnight in the illuminated stretch of this beach, announced Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, who visited the beach yesterday. “This is going to boost Dubai’s image as a tourist destination,” Lootah said.

He also declared the beach as a ‘Smart Beach’ since it now boasts three ‘smart’ elements — ‘smart’ poles, ‘smart’ changing rooms and ‘smart’ palms that provide free WiFi service.

Nelepa said that night swimming would be allowed on a 125-metre stretch on the beach and 30 metres into the sea.

“Lifeguards will be at service till midnight, when the smart poles will also switch off,” he said. Several residents came along with their families to attend the official launch of night swimming after the municipality sent out an open invitation on its social media pages.

— Sara Skaf is an intern at Gulf News.