The announcement by the Blue Flag national co-ordinator Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), in association with the World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) and in partnership with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), means the UAE community has 12 new reasons to enjoy Dubai’s beautiful coastline, as temperatures are starting to coming down.
“The Blue Flag is a highly prestigious and well-recognised symbol, and serves to highlight coastal excellence internationally,” says Lisa Perry, programme director at the EWS-WWF.
“So for the UAE to now have an additional 12 Blue Flags awarded is a real achievement for the country. This news is very positive and places the UAE as a leader in the Blue Flag programme regionally.”
Spain currently ranks first, with 571 Blue Flags, followed by Greece with 433 and France (including territories) with 359. With a total of 12 new awards, the UAE now shares the spot with Norway and is positioned in-between Latvia, which has 11 flags, and Belgium with 13 in the world rankings.
Since the UAE began a pilot phase in 2011, the EWS-WWF team has been working with authorities and stakeholders to raise environmental standards of the country’s beaches and marinas, according to a statement.
The newly awarded sites are:
• Al Bateen Marina
• The Club
• Sadiyat Island
• The Lagoon beach
• Corniche beach – phase two
• The Hilton beach
• The Le Méridien beach
• Desert Islands on Sir Bani Yas
• Jumeirah Beach Hotel marina
• Jumeirah Beach Hotel beach
• Le Royal Méridien beach
• Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort beach
Blue Flag project manager at the EWS-WWF, Moaz Sawaf, adds: “Being able to award 12 more beaches and marinas with the Blue Flag across the UAE, this year, is very encouraging. It is the result of the hard work, commitment and determination of the site managers in each of these locations.”
“It will greatly benefit not only the conservation and protection of the UAE’s coastline, but will also help to boost tourism. We encourage more beaches and marinas to apply for the Blue Flag by contacting the EWS-WWF,” he continued.
The Blue Flag programme is awarded on the basis of compliance of 32 criteria for beaches and 24 for marinas, covering four key areas: Environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services.
These newly awarded sites join a global list of more than 4,000 beaches and marinas across 46 countries. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by the FEE, which is a not-for-profit NGO consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries.
Thursday, October 3- 2013 @ 0:00 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.