There is no fee for the large white towels placed on the sand at Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, even for non-customers, the only beach club there has insisted.

The appearance of the towels at what is also known as Riviera Bay raised a storm on Facebook over the past few days, with many complaining that the picturesque bay was being taken over.  

Staff from Singita Miracle Beach were seen placing the large, branded towels on various parts of the beach. People online called it a classic example of greed and an abuse of public space. Others joked that the towels resembled bedsheets due to their large size and colour.

A spokesperson for Singita said they were surprised by people's reactions, especially considering that the towels were free, even for non-customers.

“The white towels on the beach are a way to allow everyone to enjoy the beach after we remove sunbeds. We place and wash every towel at our own expense, and never ask anyone to order from our restaurant in exchange. It is a free service.” 

Reacting to complaints that the initiative took up beach space, the spokesperson said he could not understand why no one complained about other matters that happened every day on the beach, even though they were forbidden, such as barbeque fires, camping, and littering.

"We make the extra expense to make people feel welcome, and we clean the bay every day as a brand culture.”

Asked whether a permit had been issued for the towels to be laid out that way on a public beach, the spokesperson was evasive. 

"We do not book or serve the towels on the beach; we only set them up upon request once we remove the sunbeds for people who ask for them. It's the same principle as the sun beds, except there's no cost for it."

Mġarr mayor Paul Vella said the issue of permits was a grey area which he would tackle if he was re-elected.  

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