Top bosses use Metro; 9,000 keep cars at home

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As part of its initiative to encourage Dubai residents to put their green footprint forward and go car-free for one day, top officials at the Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and dignitaries from various government departments stepped out to set an example by travelling in the Dubai Metro on Wednesday morning.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, led the contingent from the Etisalat station at around 7.30am. The team was joined by Dubai Police commander-in-chief Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina.
 

All pics: Sneha May Francis

Talking to Emirates24|7 about his Dubai Metro ride, Hussain Nasser Lootah said, “It’s a message we are trying to convey to the people to try and reduce the number of cars on the street. We have noticed that the number of cars are increasing these days. We do not want an individual movement, but a mass movement.

“We can use the Metro, the buses, other modes of transport, and those available here are of top quality.”

He added that he has used the Dubai Metro before, especially when he goes to the Dubai Trade Centre to attend conferences and exhibitions.

In fact, he revealed that he would encourage his entire staff to use public transport. About 200 staff members are already regular commuters on the Dubai Metro, he added.

“If they are not required to travel on work and are stationed only at the office, I am going to force them to use the Dubai Metro,” he added.
 
The mood in the Metro was one of celebration, as the top bosses sat together and chatted away.
 

Regular commuters, who were allowed access to the cabin, were a bit taken aback by the crowd and the flash bulbs, but they welcomed the initiative.

“It’s not every day you get to travel with such top officials in the Metro,” beamed Loraine, who is from Philippines. “I just think this is a great move. I use the Metro every day and it is the best.”

The Metro ride culminated after 15 minutes at the Union station.

The dignitaries then walked across to the empty parking lot of the Dubai Municipality headquarters to inaugurate a huge exhibition on green initiatives, eco-friendly equipments.

“This is a great initiative that will help promote positive action towards conserving our environment and protection of natural resources,” stated Minister of Environment and Water, Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad.
 

Pic: Sneha May Francis

Mohamed Al Noori, Director of  Corporate Marketing and Relations Department, felt the initiative was key to bringing a lot of people together.

“I feel a great positive energy. Everybody is happy and smiling. I think it’s because they have done something good in their lives. It’s a great social gathering as well. A lot of us haven’t seen each other, and this has proved a great way to catch up.”
 
“Nowadays, people have become very lazy. They are always sitting with their tablets or phones. People need to step up and use the parks.”

Noori claimed that initiative will change the lives of many. “It will introduce a new way to the people. It will show that their lonely drives can be different. It will be a wonderful experience to meet new people.”

A group of around 100 civic body workers, who had cycled from Deira City Centre to the Dubai Municipality building in the morning were also honoured at the event.

In its fifth year, the car-free day initiative is a step towards encouraging citizens to take responsibility towards the environment, and building awareness towards conserving energy resources.

On Tuesday evening, Noori had informed that the number of online registrations for the car-free initiative touched 4,000.

Talking to Emirates24|7, Mohamed Al Noori, Director of  Corporate Marketing and Relations Department said on Tuesday evening, “We are expecting the numbers to touch 9,000, and with the online registration at 4,000, we are confident that the numbers will go up in the next few hours.”

The civic body also announced that they will reward 100 residents who register for the day-long initiative on their official website –  with sports bicycles.

He added that the number of government and private organisations joining in the endeavor had gone up to 65, by Tuesday evening.

“We’ve got a tremendous response this year. The number of participants and companies taking part have gone up impressively.”

Noori claimed that initiative will change the lives of many. “It will introduce a new way to the people. It will show that their lonely drives can be different. It will be a wonderful experience to meet new people.”

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, along with top officials of major government organisations took a ride the Metro from etisalat station at 7.30am and reached Union station at 7.45am.

Pic: Sneha May Francis

The huge exhibition on green initiatives, eco-friendly equipments at the car park in Dubai Municipality headquarters will also be inaugurated on Wednesday morning.

Pic: Sneha May Francis

At 8am, a group of around 100 civic body workers will start their journey on cycle from Deira City Centre to the Dubai Municipality building.

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