Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, on Wednesday announced the third "Car Free Day" in collaboration with 13 different government departments and private institutions.
The announcement was made during a press conference held at Municipality headquarters conference hall in Deira.
The environment initiative, for which Dubai Municipality bagged the Idea Arabia Award in 2010, has been organised to encourage the local community to care their cities the best way by reducing the number of vehicles, especially those used on city roads and to raise awareness on alternative means of transport.
Supporting the initiative, 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 18th January 2012.
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.
Representatives of all participants also attended the press conference, during which Lootah, Khalid Malik, CEO of DPG and Ganim Al Marri, CEO of Etisalat answered the press queries.
Lootah said the Municipality parking lots would be closed on that day as all the employees are requested to use alternative mass transport system to reach work. We expect this year to achieve more environmental benefits from the initiative due to the cooperation and added efforts of other government departments.
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 of employees did not reach the Municipality, in addition to the vehicles of the DM customers and partners of the imitative.
"We expect more than 3,000 cars to be taken off the roads during the day, and we will announce the actual number of cars and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions saved during the day. 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 their intention to observe the same initiative in Paris," Lootah added.
Khalid Al Malik said that we are honoured to be a part of this excellent initiative, which encourages a healthy, and environment friendly lifestyle. This is in line with the vision of DGP for its responsible living program, which encompasses various activities, events and joint initiatives with authorities and non-profit organizations to enhance quality of life for all.
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 daily basis (number of registered vehicles in June 2011 is 1,038,057. The quantity of emissions from transportation means reached to 62,295 tons in 2010, which represents 47% of the total air pollutants in the emirate.
"All municipality employees, along with employees of our partners, will come to work using public transport on coming Wednesday, but everyone is welcome to take part," he said.