The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina has become the first private beach in the GCC to be awarded the illustrious Blue Flag.
The International Jury decided to award the Blue Flag to 81 beaches and 13 marinas in the Bahamas, Brazil, Dominican Republic, French Departments and Territories, Jamaica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands and The Westin Dubai & Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina in the United Arab Emirates. Detailed information about the 2011-2012 awards for the Southern Hemisphere and the Caribbean will be published on the Blue Flag website www.blueflag.org from 1 November 2011.
Malcolm Powell, Chair of the International Blue Flag Jury and member of the FEE Executive Board, said: "Blue Flag is proud to count so many qualitative sites in the world, and to see the interest for the programme increase as more countries join us."
Originally a French idea, the Blue Flag programme became an international award in 1987 and has since spread across the world, expanding from one to 41 countries and reaching New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Brazil. In 2011, the Blue Flag sites around the world are in total 3650.
Each year, national Blue Flag juries assess all Blue Flag candidates to ensure they meet all of the criteria for beaches and marinas at the national and international level. Those that do are then forwarded to the International Jury, who focuses on set criteria that varies from year to year, before giving a final verdict.
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