UAE beaches to receive 12 more Blue Flags.
A dozen more beaches and marinas in the UAE are set to receive the coveted Blue Flag eco-label for this month, bringing the total number of officially sanctioned recipient beaches to 24 across the emirates.
This prestigious symbol of coastal excellence is awarded to beaches and marinas that follow a strict criterion regarding water quality, environmental management, safety, site services and environmental education.
Most of the UAE's blue flags are found in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with one in Fujairah, and they join an ever expanding network of nearly 4000 of the world's finest, safest and cleanest beaches.
"Proving seawater is free of harmful pollutants is one of the most important aspects of the programme", said Moaz Al Sawaf of the Emirates Wildlife Society -- World Wide Fund for Nature, which is the UAE coordinator for the programme along with the Foundation for Environmental Education.
"A beach's water has to be regularly tested through a third party body that is certified internationally," he said.
Besides cleanliness of the sea water, beaches are also evaluated on any measures taken to protect sensitive wildlife habitats. On parts of Sdiyat Beach, for example, visitors are only allowed on special elevated walkways in order to protect turtle nests.
The scheme also monitors the availability of lifeguards, life-saving equipment and facilities such as changing rooms and other criteria.
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