Dubai: Dozens of beachgoers enjoyed a free seafood dinner on Monday.

Sun-seekers moved quickly after thousands of dead fish and sea creatures - including squid - washed up on to a stretch of Jumeira Open Beach.

A lifeguard at the beach told Gulf News that people were running into the water and collecting the dead fish with their bare hands.

He said: "A lot of people were standing around taking photos while others were trying to collect as much fish as possible.

"We weren't able to identify what caused the problem. But people were back swimming in the sea yesterday. It took us around four hours to clean up the mess."

Mohammad Abdul Rahman Hassan, Head of the Marine Environment and Sanctuaries Unit at Dubai Municipality, said it was still unclear what caused the unusual sight.

He said: "There are several reasons why this could have happened. But at the moment it is anybody's guess until we conduct a full analysis.

"It may have been caused by an algae bloom - a rapid increase in the population of microscopic algae which produces fatal toxins in an aquatic system.

"Or perhaps the fish were rotten and discarded by fishermen unhappy with their appearance."