Seven More Reasons to Explore the UAE’s Beautiful Coastline Thanks to Blue Flag Award



Posted on 09 October 2012
UAE gains increasing international recognition for coastal excellence as more Blue Flags are awarded to its beaches and marinas

October 9th: Dubai, UAE:
UAE residents have all the more reason to enjoy the sun and surf of the country’s beautiful shoreline as Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), announces in partnership with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), that several beaches across the emirates have just been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag; an internationally recognised eco-label designed to help protect and develop beaches and marinas around the world.

In total seven more beaches and marinas spanning Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah have been granted the international award after meeting a number of strict criteria designed to raise environmental coastal standards. Another confirmed beach is due to be announced later this year; bringing the grand total of Blue Flag beaches and marinas in the UAE to 12. This follows a successful pilot year in 2011, in which the UAE’s first four Blue Flags were awarded.

These newly awarded sites join a global list of 3,849 beaches and marinas across 46 different countries, from the tropical shores of the Caribbean islands to the rugged cliffs of New Zealand. The beaches and marinas awarded the flag include:

- Emirates Palace beach – Abu Dhabi,
- Emirates Palace marina – Abu Dhabi,
- Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa beach - Dubai
- Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa marina - Dubai
- ‘Open Beach’ Jumeirah - Dubai
- Al Mamzar Beach Park - Dubai
- Le Merdien Al Aqah Beach Resort – Fujairah

Lisa Perry, Programmes Director at EWS-WWF stated: “It is with great pleasure we are able to announce that seven more sites have been awarded the Blue Flag in the UAE with another due to be announced later in the year. The commitment of beach and marina management and operators across the country is very encouraging and are proud of the success of Blue Flag in the country so far. We call upon more to apply for this prestigious award to help us raise the bar of costal excellence in the country.

“Blue Flag beaches and marinas are accessible for UAE residents and tourists alike and through the Blue Flag programme we are working, with the management of these sites, to ensure that these areas are kept clean, safe and protected for generations to come.”

The Blue Flag programme is awarded on the basis of compliance of up to 32 criteria for beaches and 24 criteria for marinas covering four key areas: environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services.

The Blue Flag programme in the UAE is proudly sponsored by Applied Materials. Michael Baxter, Director Corporate Affairs of Applied Materials commented: “EWS-WWF is playing a critical role in promoting environmental information & education in the region. It is crucial to raise environmental awareness and increase good environmental practices among the tourist industry, tourists and local populations to achieve a healthy balance between biodiversity protection and sustainable tourism development. We are delighted to sponsor the Blue Flag program in the UAE, which is playing a key role in the protection of natural habitats and the regions’ resources so generations to come can enjoy.”

EWS-WWF is the national coordinator of the programme and initiated a successful pilot phase at Abu Dhabi Corniche beach in 2011. The EWS-WWF team has since been working with authorities and stakeholders to raise environmental standards of beaches and marinas nationwide. Other beaches that also currently fly Blue Flag in the country are; Le Meridien Mina Seyahi in Dubai, Yas Marina and Al Bandar Marina in Abu Dhabi, all of whom were awarded in 2011.