Dubai has taken a step towards seaside ecotourism and joined the international Blue Flag program that guarantees conformity to stringent environmental standards.
On the coast that holds some of Dubai's loveliest resorts, the Jumeriah and Mamzar public beaches have just been certified to satisfy Blue Flag's international standards of water quality, safety and environmental management in general. The municipality of Dubai has announced that certification is pending for other beaches as well.
Every year the Blue Flag program, an international non-profit consisting of 65 organizations on six continents, awards its stamp of approval to beaches and marinas that meet its 32 criteria of water quality, cleanliness and waste management, safety and services, as well as environmental information and education. At present in 2013, there are 3,850 Blue Flags waving proudly over beaches and marinas in 48 countries around the world.
Tourism in Dubai is steadily increasing. In 2012, the emirate welcomed 9.9 million international tourists, a 9 percent increase compared to the previous year. According to Pascal Maigniez, head of its Department of Tourism, Dubai's goal is to double the number of tourists by the year 2020.