The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label certification awarded to beaches and marinas with international recognition.

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches and marinas that meet international standards in the field of education, information, water quality, safety and environment management services. The Blue Flag is a brand of excellence recognized by the community as regards tourists, beaches and professionals and can encourage tourist to frequent beaches and marinas.

The Blue Flag Program aims at increasing environmental awareness of beach-goers hailing from local communities in the vicinity of beaches. It is also intended to serve tourist destinations managers and ensure a sound environmental management. The Program works closely with representatives of all stakeholders in government ministries, local authorities and local communities.

In the fields of education and information, the beach must provide a variety of educational events for the community in close proximity to the beach as well as enough information about the existing ecosystems on and around the beach, and information about the services available on the beach such as beach regulations.

In the field of water quality, the beach must comply with all requirements relating to the quality of swimming water from the chemical and physical point of view. Moreover, samples of water must be tested at least 5 times per season.

In the field of environmental management, the beach must comply with the following requirements: collecting and treatment of waste, preventing vehicles from entering the beach, preventing guests from staying overnights on beaches, monitoring and preventing animals from entering the beach.

Concerning security and services, the beach must maintain the existing facilities, deploy appropriate and sufficient number of lifeguards & equipment, provide an emergency program to tackle serious pollution, comply with laws and rules, provide entrance for the disabled (at least one entrance per facility) and provide clean and affordable drinking water.

Abu Dhabi is the first GCC capital to be awarded the Blue Flag Certification having fulfilled all requirements of this international program. Abu Dhabi Corniche and , Bateen Public Beach and Ladies Beach meet all international standards required for beaches especially as regards environmental awareness, water quality, environment management, safety, services, amenities and provision of preventive equipment for beach-goers.

The concept of the Blue Flag was born in 1987, as a voluntary eco-label program recognized and authenticated by the UNEP an UNWTO. It is implemented in more than 3550 beaches and marinas in more than 40 countries around the world. Abu Dhabi has become the first GCC capital to join this program and obtain this certification.

The Blue Flag Certification is awarded after meeting 32 benchmarks that include environmental awareness information, water quality, environmental management, safety and services. Strenuous efforts have been made to obtain this international recognition for Abu Dhabi beaches. The residents of this wonderful city are always accustomed to tranquility, secure and clean environment for their children thanks to the UAE government which has been attaching paramount attention to their daily life.

The certification was awarded by the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wide Fund (WWF) is the national coordinator of the "Blue Flag" in the UAE. The Blue Flag certification is granted for a period of one season and aims to achieve sustainable development in beaches and marinas.