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Hussain Lootah, the director-general of Dubai Municipality, takes the Metro to work as part of Car Free Day.
Duncan Chard Photographer
Hussain Lootah, the director-general of Dubai Municipality, takes the Metro to work as part of Car Free Day.

Dubai commuters let the train take the strain on Car Free Day

Several thousand employees take public transport in Dubai as part of environmental initiative.

More than 2,000 government workers took to public transport today as part of Car Free Day, an initiative sponsored by Dubai Municipality.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, boarded the Metro at Etisalat station yesterday morning along with senior officials from 18 other government bodies and regular commuters.

Mr Lootah ordered the closure of municipality car parks and gave his staff little option other than public transport to get to work.

Inside the car park, which is always full, there was an environmental exhibition of the municipality's achievements, which included compressed natural gas and electric cars, and furniture using recycled car parts.

Mr Lootah said there were already hundreds of employees who stopped driving to work and instead have begun to use public transport.

"Today 3,500 cars are taken off the roads, helping to save the environment from more than 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission," he said.

"Our aim in future is to observe the Car Free Day with the participation of all government and private organisations."

Dubai Properties Group was one government body that took part in the campaign, which is in its third year.

Khalid Al Malik, the chief executive, said: "By participating in this year's Car Free Day, I hope we will encourage other organisations and individuals to get involved in important environmental initiatives such as this one in the future."

The Roads and Transport Authority holds its own Public Transport Day every year on November 1. On that day, public transport within Dubai city is free for all users.

eharnan@thenational.ae

@ For more on DUBAI METRO, visit thenational.ae/topics

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