By Andy Sambidge
Operator appointed to manage first beach on Abu Dhabi's multi-billion dollar tourism destination
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has announced the opening of its first public beach on Saadiyat Island.
The master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, said BAKE, a beach-specialised operator, has been appointed to manage the 400-metre beach stretch.
Saadiyat Public Beach, which is located next to the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, comprises a wide range of facilities including lounge chairs, showers and bathrooms, lockers, changing rooms, towels, umbrellas, and ample parking spaces.
A snack lounge, a retail outlet selling beachwear and sports equipment, and eco-friendly water sports activities such as windsurfing and sailing, will be introduced gradually as of the third quarter of 2013.
Ahmed Al Fahim, executive director of marketing, communications, sales and leasing at TDIC, said: "We are excited to open Saadiyat Public Beach, which is designed to facilitate the needs of the island's residents, as well as guests from the wider Abu Dhabi community.
"It is the perfect destination for visitors who are looking for a serene natural beachfront that is preserved in an eco-friendly environment," Al Fahim added.
Saadiyat Beach is fringed by a natural dune system which is protected from development by a restriction to build within 60 metres from the seaward edge of the dune system.
Access to the beach through the Dune Protection Zone is made possible over a wooden boardwalk, which prevents damage to the sensitive dune vegetation.
Saadiyat Beach is also a natural nesting ground for hawksbill turtles, which come ashore annually between April and July to lay their eggs in burrows under the sand.
During nesting and hatching seasons, a specialised team trained to spot turtle tracks and turtle nests patrols the beach on a daily basis.
The $27bn Saadiyat Island is set to have local branches of New York University and the Louvre and Guggenheim Museums, among other prominent projects.