Life's a Beach

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE


The beach is a hub of activity in Dubai. It is an interesting place to be because of the mingling of cultures of the world, each carrying on in their own unique way. The traditional heritage in Dubai is that of pearl divers. The beach has been an important part of their way of life for a long time. But also, it is really stinking hot in Dubai. The water is actually so warm that it is not that refreshing. But one at least gets the feeling of being wet and so can feel the placebo effect.

Everyone loves to come to the water's edge when the day is ending. And everyone loves to get into the water too. I heard of an American woman talking with my friend who lives in Kuwait. She was saying that she felt so badly for the covered women because they couldn't go in the water. This is a common misconception. Let me address that here; yes they can. They just go in the water. Simple as that.

That is part of the reason that beaches in Dubai are so interesting. For those who don't know, a lot of white people live in Dubai. It was really strange for me to arrive there from Kuwait and all of a sudden feel quite normal. I had some business to attend to at the mall and no one even gave me a second look. Anonymity at last! But it was bizarre at the same time. Sometimes, in Dubai, you forget you are in the Middle East. Everything is so new and shiny. And at the beaches, completely covered women photograph the sunset over the water while skinny blonde girls jog past in bikinis. I honestly had culture shock to my own Western culture. I was a little embarrassed to be lumped in by my skin and hair color with the dress and behavior of the other Caucasians who abounded. So I did as the Romans do and got into the water with my clothes on so I could photograph the covered women and not shock them with my very white bathingsuited body.

It was really beautiful to see how much fun these ladies were having splashing around in the water, covering themselves in sand. I think they seemed to be having some of the most fun out there. It was only after I spent the evening photographing at the beach that I saw the "No Cameras" signs all over. Oops. Nevertheless, people were quite kind with me about my camera wielding, and let me join in the fun.