A ‘safe and clean’ certification scheme is being introduced by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.

Claimed to be the first of its kind in the Gulf region, the initiative seeks to improve and standardise cleanliness and hygiene levels across all businesses and organisations in the tourism sector.

The measure comes as hotels, shopping malls and other attractions prepare to “cautiously re-welcome” guests.

The certification programme will be introduced in phases, starting with hotels, with other tourism attractions and businesses to follow.

It follows a national disinfection programme launched in late March across the UAE as part of preventative and precautionary measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Tourism and marketing executive director Ali Hassan Al Shaiba said: “Our priority is to ensure that our residents and visitors feel safe and comfortable in Abu Dhabi.

“As hygiene and cleanliness have risen to become vital factors considered by all individuals today, we believe that it is imperative for all institutions and businesses to elevate and then maintain hygiene standards.

“As the leaders in tourism, our role is to pave the way for industry players and set standards that suit our consumers.

“Through this tourism board led programme, we hope to boost the confidence of consumers when considering Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination.

“Our dedicated team has been working closely with different stakeholders to ensure that this programme considers all elements of health and safety and we encourage all hotels and industry partners to attain the certificate.”