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Wed 19 Feb 2014 04:04 PM

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Abu Dhabi oil spill forces guests off Saadiyat beach

Authorities have warned against swimming off Saadiyat island until investigation is complete

Abu Dhabi oil spill forces guests off Saadiyat beach
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Hotel guests and residents have been warned against swimming in the water off Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island after an oil spill occurred off the coast, authorities have confirmed.

A minor oil spill was detected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the agency has now advised residents and visitors on the island to avoid swimming in the water.

The spill occurred along the St. Regis Sadiyaat Island Resort beach and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas on Sadiyaat Island, with the St Regis confirming that while guests were allowed to use the beach, hotel lifeguards were preventing anyone from entering the water.

Master developer TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) said it “has been notified by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi that an oil spill incident had occurred along Saadiyat Beach.

“While an investigation into the spill is currently underway, we have been directed by the relevant authorities to take the necessary health and safety measures and temporarily restrict swimming at the beach.

“However, guests are still permitted access to the dry areas of the beach. We are working closely with the relevant authorities and our operators to monitor the situation and to ensure that the full beach is accessible to our visitors as soon as the situation permits.”

Members of EAD’s Environmental Emergency Team reportedly visited the site and conducted an initial environmental assessment confirming the occurrence of a minor oil spill. The team also collected water samples for analysis and is investigating the cause of the incident, with the agency working with the affected hotels.

Only last year Saadiyat beach was awarded a Blue Flag for quality, alongside a number of other UAE locations.

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