Dubai Municipality on Sunday launched the eighth "Car Free Day" with the participation of government, semi-government and private organizations and a number of dignitaries, including heads of government departments and various sectors such as education, real estate, retail, hotels, banks and people with special needs, ensuring comprehensive support for the initiative.
Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, travelled from Etisalat Metro Station to Union Metro Station and inaugurated the activities of 8th Car Free Day at Union Metro Park in the presence of Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Major General Rashid Al Matrooshi, Director- General of Dubai Civil Defence, Major-General Abdul Rahman Rafi, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police for Community Affairs Services, Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for operations at Dubai Police, Khalifa Bin Drai, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Humaid Sultan Al Mutaiwee, CEO of the Dubai Government Workshop, Dr. Ahmed Bin Kalban, CEO of Hospital Services Sector at the Dubai Health Authority and many other top officials of the Municipality and other government departments in Dubai.
Lootah stressed on the constant efforts of the Municipality to raise Dubai’s profile among the world’s eco-friendly cities by finding all sustainable and effective solutions to meet the various environmental challenges, most notably air pollution and increase in the carbon footprint resulting from vehicle emissions.
"Each vehicle, with a full tank fuel size of 15 gallons, emits nearly 140 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the air, taking the annual emissions to four tons, contributing towards global warming. The campaign will contribute in achieving our objectives of UAE National Agenda 2021 in preserving air quality and reducing carbon footprint," said Lootah.
He said that the initiative will effectively contribute towards promoting the use of public transport instead of using personal vehicles to get to work. "It shows Dubai’s commitment to international climate change agreements on reducing emissions of gases that causes global warming," he said.
Lootah revealed that this year the initiative has been linked to the Year of Giving by having specialists in the Municipality calculate the carbon footprint and convert it into cash and donate it to charity work in line with the Year of Giving that was announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
"From two organisations during first Car Free Day, the participation had grown to 1,070 last year.
This year, we expect it to increase significantly as we have received about 2,500 registrations for the eco event. We will come up with the final figures later," said Khalid Sharif, Assistant Director General for Environment, Health and Safety Control.
He said the environmental results achieved have also multiplied. "Compared to 1,000 people in the first year, 48,000 people abandoned personal vehicles and turned to environmentally-friendly transport last year, which is expected reach 60,000 this year," said Sharif.
He said that the exhibition, held alongside the eighth event, displayed environmentally-friendly vehicles, which run on alternative fuel sources, whether solar or electric power or biofuels. "It also showcased the latest practices, techniques and achievements related to air quality and the conservation of natural resources," said Sharif.