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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 July 2018

Dubai aims to be much greener by 2020

Solar-powered street lamps in parks, green building rules and conversion to efficient lighting will help to ensure Dubai is one of the world’s top 10 sustainable cities by 2020.
Solar lights in a section of the Motor City community in Dubai. Jeff Topping / The National
Solar lights in a section of the Motor City community in Dubai. Jeff Topping / The National

DUBAI // Solar-powered street lamps in parks, green building codes and conversion to efficient lighting will help to put Dubai among the world’s top 10 sustainable cities by 2020, authorities say.

Hussain Lootah, director general of the municipality, said it was preparing for Expo 2020 as the world would be watching closely in the next six years.

“We won this opportunity as result of long-sighted vision and plans of our leadership, which are crystal clear about ongoing projects in the emirate of Dubai,” Mr Lootah said.

The municipality recently formed a committee to study and introduce green programmes.

Mohamed Mashroom, director of general projects, said the municipality would bring in green building rules for all new projects and gradually convert old ones to systems that would save energy.

“Currently the areas under the responsibility of the Dubai Municipality include street lighting, roadway lighting, parks, community facilities, parking lots, city landscaping, residential and commercial buildings, pedestrian and bicycling pathways,” Mr Mashroom said.

“Through solar-powered lighting the civic body aims to provide a safe and secure environment at night, extend the use of parks and walkways into the night, enhance historical features, enhance travel on the roads and at intersections.”

Landscaping will include solar energy for lighting without increasing operation costs by using efficient Led technology. Solar power will run garden lights, water heaters and pumps.

“It requires very little maintenance and lasts for many years,” said Mr Mashroom. “It helps to get rid of trenching, cabling and electricity costs compared to traditional grid-tied lights.”

The department has already introduced solar-powered lights in projects such as the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Sports Complex, Al Mushrif park, Al Barsha pond park, Al Sufouh park and Al Warqa’s second neighbourhood park.

The other projects that involve sustainable lighting include Port Saeed Plaza, Al Warqa’s third community centre, Al Awir park and community areas in Lahbab, Hatta and Nazwa.

Juma Al Fuqae, director of the general maintenance department, said existing lighting systems at public areas were being replaced with Led technology, saving about 55 per cent energy.

“The initiative would help Dubai Municipality save money, energy and the environment, at same time boosting its strategy to create the most sustainable city in world,” said Mr Al Fuqae.

Abdullah Rafia, the municipality’s assistant director general, said the new committee’s responsibilities would include developing ways to evaluate green buildings and monitoring sustainability.

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