Beaches are synonymous with fun and frolic on the sand and water. But there are a few who spoil the show. They hit the beaches with their four-wheel vehicles or sports vehicles that are meant for dune bashing. Their behaviour scares many beachgoers that lets them hesitate whether to come to the beach next time or not. Keeping the safety aspect in mind, both residents and tourists are seeking some action from the competent authorities to check the practice, which is not only harmful to the coastal dune systems, but have full potential to become fatal any moment.
Studies suggest that during and after erosion events, the coastal dune systems play vital role in protecting the beach and the areas behind it. Some experts believe that under the impact of the pressure of the four-wheel tyres there is change in the surface roughness. This change disrupts the flow of sand from the beach to the dunes by the wind.
The beachgoers, however, are more concerned about the accidents, which these vehicles have potential to cause and say that those who come to the beaches to play and enjoy, generally do not expect any vehicle there. They allow their children to roam around. “They themselves are carefree. Moreover, those who drive on a beach have too many distractions, which make fare chances of an accident. And who would be the victims? …those who have come to the beach just to have a leisure time,” said Abdullah, a resident of Dahariz area in Salalah.
Tourists are equally scared of this behaviour of a section of people. Winter is the time when most of the beach hotel occupants ate tourists from the European countries. They come here all the way to enjoy the beaches of Salalah. They get upset with sudden disruptions and call for strict regulations from the authorities to avoid any major accident on the beaches. “If at all they have to drive on the beaches, there should be designated areas and not everywhere they should be allowed to drive,” said a tourist from Italy.
He, however, found huge opportunity for water sport in Salalah. “It is a win-win situation for both. The locals would get business and the tourists entertainment. I strongly recommend for such activities in Salalah.”
Equally worried are the hoteliers, who find it difficult to convince their clients. They admit that there has been some control after intervention from the authorities. they call strict monitoring to avoid any untoward incident in future.