Marine Water Quality

The Arabian Gulf coastline of Abu Dhabi Emirate is approximately 700 kilometres, accounting for 76 % of the entire Arabian Gulf coastline in the UAE. The emirate’s numerous desert islands are home to dynamic, diverse and complex ecosystems with rich biodiversity. The marine environment of Abu Dhabi Emirate contributes significantly to the economic and social wellbeing of the population. Prior to the discovery of oil and gas, the region’s main economic pillars included fishing, pearl diving and sea trade. Today, the emirate’s dependence on coastal activities has expanded, with the development of major recreational, industrial, transportation and tourism activities.

Current State

94 %

Of monitored sites met good microbial water quality standard in 2015


Population growth and economic development are driving a change in the state of marine water quality.


Coastal development, industrialisation and tourism and their associated activities are a result of these drivers.


Marine water quality in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is generally good. However, there is a trend toward increasing eutrophication, primarily from coastal industry and treated wastewater discharges in Abu Dhabi City areas.


The impacts on mainland coastal areas appear to be stable, except for certain confined areas. Previous impacts, measured in terms of fish kills and beach closures, are diminished. However, incidences of harmful algal blooms, which can negatively affect human health and marine organisms, appear to be increasing.


Management interventions aim to limit the impacts mentioned above. These include water quality monitoring, proposed ambient marine water and sediment quality limits, and regulation of dredging and industrial discharges.

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Marine Water Quality


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Abu Dhabi State Of Environment Report


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