Government departments in Dubai have geared up to observe ‘Car Free Day’ on Wednesday January 18.
The environment initiative has been organised to encourage the local community to reduce the number of vehicles, especially on city roads, and to raise awareness of alternative means of transport.
More than 2,500 employees in the Dubai Municipality headquarters and the nearby offices of DM will leave their cars at home and use other public transport means to reach their offices on Wednesday.
The initiative, launched in 2010, is being observed this year in cooperation with 13 government institutions, namely, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Dubai Land Department, Etisalat, Ministry of Environment and Water, Dubai Police, Dubai Properties Group, Ministry of Public Works, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Ministry of Education, Civil Defence, Dubai World Trade Centre,. Department of Economic Development and Al Bayan.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said municipality parking lots would beclosed on Wednesday, as all the employees will use alternative mass transport system to reach work.
“Top officials of municipality and participants will start from Qusais metro station at 7.30 am and reach Union metro station, where an environmental exhibition will be organised,” Lootah said.
He recalled that last year the initiative could save the environment from 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission, as more than 1,400 vehicles did not reach the municipality, in addition to the vehicles of DM customers and partners of the imitative. “Tomorrow we expect more than 3,000 cars to be taken off the roads helping to save the environment from 10.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission. Our aim in future is to observe the Car Free Day with the participation of all government and private organisations," he said.
“Last year we received an email from Paris City Authority appreciating our car free day and informing us of their intention to observe the same initiative in Paris,” Lootah added.
Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General, pointed out that the challenge of carbon dioxide emissions is huge, as more than one million vehicles are used in the emirate on a daily basis (number of registered vehicles in June 2011 was 1,038,057. The quantity of emissions from transportation reached 62,295 tons in 2010, which represents 47 per cent of the total air pollutants in the emirate.