February 21 will be marked as car-free day, Dubai Municipality announced on Sunday.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said the announcement is in line with Dubai’s efforts to become the world’s most environment-friendly city.
Since its initiative in 2010, the annual event has grown significantly over the years. Lootah added that this initiative is the first of its kind in the region.
The number of participating organisations in 2015 reached 300, compared to only two in the first event held in 2010.
Additionally, the event (in 2015) achieved substantial environmental outcomes with nearly 30,000 personal vehicles left at home that day. In 2010, only 1,000 cars were left at home.
Overall, the six-days of this initiative since 2010 have contributed to the reduction of an estimated 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Also, as this number of CO2 reductions is increasing annually from this event, it reflects the increased level of awareness and participation by society.
Lootah noted that the Dubai Municipality has set a target for participation of 1,000 organisations on February 21.
Additionally, greater emphasis is being placed this year for the government and society in the emirate to keep up with the latest global practices, and to adopt sustainable solutions to the growing challenges witnessed by the emirate's environment in general and the growing carbon footprint.
Alya AlHarmoudi, director of environment department, confirmed that several special instruments will be set up instruments to measure air quality and noise levels in different parts of Dubai before and after the initiative to determine the environmental results.
A vehicle emits approximately 140kg of carbon dioxide per 60-litre fuel tank, totalling 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year per vehicle.
This year, however, work will not be limited to a specific day of the year, but will be extended over multiple days. The new slogan “not a day… every day”, emphasises this.
This step will enable government and non-government bodies to adopt and implement better strategies to bring about positive change all year round.
Residents and companies are being urged to pledge their participation by logging on to www.dm.gov.ae.