Candlelight walks, seaside drumming to entice UAE residents this Earth Hour

March 31 will set the stage for public events and personal challenges with lights out across the emirates

It’s lights out for the UAE come March 31, as residents unite in a global cause to combat climate change.
This year, Earth Hour will once again witness major landmarks across the country – including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Al Qasbah in Sharjah – as they plunge into darkness for one hour in support of the world’s largest environmental event in history.
However, the 2012 initiative will not just request a one-hour conservation pledge, but aims to target residents at the grassroots level by hosting a number of public events and social media campaigns to target the society at large to participate in an essential cause.
Organised by the Emirates Wildlife Society, which works in association with World Wildlife Foundation, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, Ida Tillisch, the acting director general at EWS-WWF said in a statement: “Earth Hour is not about turning off your lights for one hour, but an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how our everyday actions impact our environment.”
So power off this March 31 and let Emirates 24|7 guide you to all the events in your neighbourhood, as UAE residents take to the streets in this global fight.
Candlelight march at Burj Park Downtown

Grab those candles and make way to Burj Park Downtown where residents of the UAE have been invited to join a candlelight march in and participate in array of environmental activities.
Organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, families and friends are welcome to light the way for a better tomorrow as they bear witness to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, switching off its lights for one hour to commemorate Earth Hour.
The walk will commence from the Burj Plaza towards Burj Park. The event starts from 5pm, while the candlelight march will begin at 8:30pm.
Light up a lamp at Dubai Internet City
Canon Middle East is inviting environmentalists and those who love Mother Earth to join them in this global initiative as its employees and their families gather outside the office building in Dubai Internet City with lamps as a sign of solidarity for Earth Hour and to make a pledge that they will take long term actions towards environmental conservation.
Supporting this global initiative for many years, Canon also pledges to shut down all non-essential lights at its offices during this hour.
Additionally, Canon has also announced a public photo competition entitled “My Earth, My Lens”, where people will be required to take a photograph that best symbolises what the environment means to them.
Photographs could range from images of the ocean to pictures of gardens, and will need to be accompanied by a photo caption that best captures the essence of the image.
Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications Manager, Canon Middle East, said: “Our participation in Earth Hour 2012 is part of our on-going commitment to be a socially responsible and environmentally conscious company.”
Abu Dhabi
Drumming on the Corniche

The ongoing Abu Dhabi Festival is inviting residents in the capital to join millions of people around the world in celebrating the annual Earth Hour.
Abu Dhabi will celebrate the evening with a drumming spectacular on the Corniche aiming to spread the important message of environmental awareness to passers-by.
The event kicks off from 7pm until 9.30pm at the Sahil Al Maydan Cornice in Abu Dhabi.
Cycle to save Mother Earth
For the second year in a row, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi plans to go beyond 60 minutes by generating 24 hours of clean, renewable green energy through cycling to further support the biggest climate awareness campaign from the World Wildlife Foundation.
From 10.30am on Saturday, March 31 until 10.30am Sunday April 1, the lobby of the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr will be outfitted with stationary bicycles.
With the use of dynamo technology and a full 24 hours of cycling shared amongst residents in the community, guests and hotel colleague participants, this ‘pedal power’ will activate an LED lighting structure, fashioned after the property’s iconic facade, with symmetrical LED lights designed to reflect the water patterns of the Abu Dhabi Creek.
Sharjah and Northern Emirates
Family fun day
In Sharjah, a family event is being planned in Al Majaz Park by the Environment and Protected Areas of Sharjah.
Residents can participate in a host of activities including environmental competitions and a musical performance. The event starts from 6pm.
Music for the soul
In Ras Al Khaimah, the emirate’s tourism development authority has partnered with Al Manar Mall to invite the residents to join a public gathering with an acoustic performance by Fusion Again music band. The performance will start at 8:30pm.
Light the way
In Fujairah, a low-key event will take place in front of the municipality building, with candles and floating lanterns to mark Earth Hour. The event will start at 8:30 pm.
Social media campaign

The theme for this year’s Earth Hour in the UAE is ‘I will if you will', a campaign of challenges that aims to take the message of environmental conservation beyond the single hour.
So apart from powering off at 8.30pm, organisers have partnered with line-minded individuals to come up with personal challenges and take it forward as more and more people pledge support to their cause.
Some of the radical challenges uploaded on the YouTube Earth Hour channel includes Reem Althawadi’s pledge to cycle around a Dubai park in a Panda suit if 300 people sign on for the ‘I will if you will’ challenge.
Meanwhile, Joe Akkawi aims to shave his head to look like planet Earth if 300 people pledge to stop printing emails for one month.
The most prominent of challengers is Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, also known as the ‘Green Sheikh’ who has pledged to fast for six days outside of Ramadan if 6,000 people in six weeks from April 1 pledge to recycle an unused medicine by giving it to someone needy.
Also, Ali Al Saloom of Ask Ali fame says that he will not use all of his three mobiles for three days, if 10,000 people pledge not to use plastic bags.

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