Turquoise waters beckon beachgoers

Locals flock to Basra’s beaches, now open to civilians

BASRA, August 11 — Authorities in Basra’s port city of Um Qasr have plans to turn the long-neglected coastline into Iraq’s next beach haven as families flock to the Arabian Gulf seaside.

The local municipality is installing beach umbrellas to transform the area, which was a secure military site for decades, and closed off to civilians. A private company has also begun shipping in sand to cover the beach.

964 visited the area and captured video of turquoise blue waters, fishing boats, and sandbars.

Director of Um Qasr district, Saleh Abdul-Mahdi, told 964: “Um Qasr’s coast is a 1,200-meter stretch of land sandwiched between Al-Faw Grand Port and the fisherman’s marina.”

“We approached the Basra governortate to develop this coast and invest in tourism, and Governor Asaad Al-Eidani confirmed that the project will be expanded to include Hijam Island.”