Blue Flag

Period: 2009-2015

About Blue Flag

The Blue Flag programme is a global initiative of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to protect and develop beaches and marinas around the world in an environmentally-friendly manner. It is a voluntary and internationally recognised eco-label which has been awarded to more than 4000 beaches and marinas across 48 different countries, from the tropical shores of the Caribbean islands to the rugged cliffs of New Zealand. The programme is highly respected globally for its strict criteria pertaining to water quality, safety and services, environmental education and environmental management; and for its periodical spot-checks on Blue Flag sites.

In order for beaches and marinas to be considered for the prestigious Blue Flag award, strict criteria must be met in the following key areas:
  • Recreational water quality
  • Environmental education
  • Environmental management
  • Safety and services
Beaches and marinas have a different set of criteria to meet and are reviewed every season to ensure standards are adhered to and maintained. 

Blue Flag in the UAE

Blue Flag was launched in the country in 2010 by EWS-WWF and after a successful pilot at Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach in 2009, the country began its journey to add many more flags to its coastlines. Since its launch, the initiative has peaked interest among beach and marina operators, as well as among hotels, tourists and UAE residents.

By 2015, the programme had certified more than 25 coastal areas with its Blue Flag thanks to the dedication from the EWS-WWF team and beach and marina operators. The introduction of this eco-label to the shores of the UAE, positions the country as a leader in the Middle East for coastal excellence that meets international standards.

The future

In 2015, the programme was handed over to Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT) to drive forward the momentum already achieved by EWS-WWF in the five years’ previous. Working towards a new strategic direction, EWS-WWF will focus its efforts more specifically on marine conservation moving forward. 

Environmental Centre for Arab Towns (ECAT) is now the official national operator of Blue Flag in the UAE. 

Learn more about the Blue Flag project achievements here.

Photo Gallery

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The Blue Flags

Abu Dhabi

  • ​Abu Dhabi Corniche
  • Al Bandar Marina
  • Al Bateen Ladies Beach
  • Al Bateen Beach
  • Emirates Palace Marina
  • Yas Marina
  • Al Bateen Marina
  • Lagoon Beach
  • Le Meridien Abu Dhabi Beach
  • Phase 2 Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach 
  • Saadiyat Beach on Saadiyat Island
  • The Club Beach
  • Hilton Abu Dhabi Beach


  • Al Mamzar Beach Park (Beaches 1 through 5)
  • Sofitel Dubai - The Palm Resort & Spa
  • Atlantis The Palm Dubai Hotel & Resort
  • Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa beach
  • Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa marina 
  • Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach
  • Jumeirah Beach Hotel Beach
  • Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Beach
  • Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort Beach
  • Jumeirah Beach Hotel: The Pavilion Marina


  • Merdien Al Aqah Beach Resort


    •  Applied Materials