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7 more UAE beaches receive Blue Flag certification

posted on 12/12/2014: 1822 views

Beachgoers in the UAE have more safe beaches to enjoy as seven more beaches — five public beaches and two private beaches — have received the Blue Flag, an international environmental certification. Twenty-one beaches in the UAE already fly the Blue Flag.

Now a total of 28 beaches and six marinas in the UAE have been awarded the Blue Flag, a voluntary standard of environmental excellence, since its UAE launch in 2010, Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF) that coordinates the Blue Flag certification in the UAE announced on Wednesday.

The Blue Flag is an international voluntary programme established by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Of the seven newly certified beaches, one is in Abu Dhabi — Al Bateen Ladies Beach — and six are in Dubai — Al Mamzar Beach Park – Beach 1, 3,4 and 5 (four beaches), and two private beaches — Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, and Atlantis The Palm Dubai Hotel & Resort.

The Blue Flag certification involves strict criteria including environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, safety and other services.

The high number of Blue Flag beaches in the UAE shows increased transparency on water quality on the beaches, a senior executive involved in the certification told Gulf News on Wednesday.

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The certification mandates regular monitoring of water quality and low water quality will warrant lowering the Blue Flag on the beach, Ida Tillisch, Director-General of EWS-WWF, said.

Water samples on the beach are tested every 15 days during the first year of certification and every 30 days in subsequent years for certification renewal, she said.

The certification requires many other facilities such as adequate number of toilets and access to special needs people, etc, Tillisch said.

"If you are on a beach with Blue Flag, you are assured that you are on a safe beach,” she said.

The UAE is the only country in the Gulf to have Blue Flag beaches, she said. Only a few countries in the Middle East have received this certification for their beaches.

The new certifications were awarded following assessment results conducted by the Blue Flag UAE committee and the Blue Flag international jury, a press release issued by EWS-WWF said on Wednesday.

It is important that public beaches that can be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike have the Blue Flag. This achievement is a testimony to the continued efforts and hard work of site managers, authorities, and stakeholders to enhance the quality of beaches and marinas in the UAE.

Of 28 Blue Flag beaches, 10 are public, providing the UAE community with a clean, safe and well-maintained environment to enjoy. It demonstrates a strong commitment from beaches and marina operators, who voluntarily chose to create clean and safe beaches. – Gulf News -


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