x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Hotels join call to curb jet skis on Abu Dhabi beaches

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) is working on new rules with the marine police after complaints from hotels say that noisy jet skis are endangering guests.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (TCA) is working on new rules to address concerns of hoteliers that jet skis could endanger their guests. Andrew Parsons / The National
The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (TCA) is working on new rules to address concerns of hoteliers that jet skis could endanger their guests. Andrew Parsons / The National

ABU DHABI // Jet skis could be prohibited from some beaches after complaints from hotels that the noise they generated disturbed and endangered guests.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) is working on new rules with the marine police after the problem was raised at a forum for hoteliers. Doris Greif, general manager of Etihad Towers, told the group – which was set up two years ago and meets every month – that jet skis were a big issue for many hotels.

“Some hotels have been suffering from the noise and safety issues of the jet skis coming so close to the beach,” she said. “Until now there was no area where it was prohibited, so we are very happy the TCA is supporting us in this.”

The TCA is working with the marine police to establish safe zones, which would allow jet skis space and freedom while protecting beachgoers.

The group was set up to help the industry work with regulators to improve Abu Dhabi’s appeal as a destination and residents’ quality of life.

Sanjeev Gupta, an engineer in the capital, welcomed the idea. “The jet skis are a real pain,” he said. “They come so close to the shore and many of the people on them have no care for people swimming in the sea. It’s very dangerous.”

Hana Bana, a mother of three who lives in the capital, said the noise caused a major disturbance.

“It completely ruins a day at the beach at the weekend when there are lots of them out,” she said.

Nasser Al Reyami, head of hotel licensing at the TCA, said the 15-member forum – which includes the Shangri La, Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers – was a good “building block” for the city’s growth as a destination. “If you need to make any new regulations, we discuss it [with the hotels] and see if it fits with them,” he said.

“We are updating our hotel classification system and if the 15 members don’t agree, we will see what needs to be done to change them or take things out.

“It helps us to see what the issues are and try to solve them.”

mswan@thenational.ae