x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Car Free Day on January 18 aims to cut pollution

More than 3,500 government employees in Dubai will use the Metro and buses to get to work as part of a drive to cut pollution levels.

DUBAI // More than 3,500 government employees in Dubai will use the Metro and buses to get to work instead of their cars on January 18 as part of a municipality campaign to cut pollution levels.

Dubai Municipality’s director general, Hussain Lootah, announced today that the municipality parking lots for employees would be shut for the day and all staff would be asked to use public transport to reach work.

“It is true that this is just for one day, but it encourages people to use mass transport,” Mr Lootah said at a press conference in Dubai.

“Next year we hope more private companies will participate in the Car Free Day. The idea is that one day we hope to have our city without any cars in co-operation with everybody.”

About 2,500 Dubai Municipality staff will leave their cars at home on the day of the campaign, he said.

The municipality estimates that there will be a reduction of approximately 10.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions that day, up from the 3 tonnes last year. Some 2,500 government employees participated in the campaign last year.

This is the third annual Car Free Day organised by the municipality. Twelve other departments and institutions, including the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Department of Economic Development, Dubai Police, the Ministry of Education and Dubai Properties Group, will participate.

Exhaust fumes from cars make up about 42 per cent of Dubai’s air pollution, according to municipality statistics.

rtalwar@thenational.ae