Abu Dhabi, marketed as a centre of economic development in its geographic area during the post-oil
era, is renowned for being a choice destination of high value individuals and tourists, due to its rich
coastal and marine resources as well as the high quality of services. Outbreaks of harmful algae
blooms (HAB) (red tides) due to increased eutrophication as a result of a decline in water quality,
however, is posing a serious threat to the amenity values the tourist can appreciate. The amenity
values include beach and ocean views, recreation and sport opportunities and facilities, as
attractions, among others. To investigate the amenity value of the coastal and marine resources of
Abu Dhabi to the beach visitors, we use a contingent valuation assessment after collecting data from
a sample of 103 beach visitors. We conducted an econometric analysis to examine factors that
potentially affect their behaviour. We determined firstly if the respondents were willing to accept
compensation for visiting another beach in the event of an outbreak of HAB and its amount; or in
another scenario if they would be willing to pay an annual fee, and its amount, for restoration and
mitigation of the beach pollution.
The results show that the beach amenity value, therefore, is estimated at between US$8.3million/ha
and US$13.8million/ha based on the beach size. Factors such as the travel time from place of current residence the beach, the residence status, the number of beach visits and household size and
income have affected the willingness-to-accept (WTA) of the respondents.