x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dubai residents to ditch their cars for a day

Dubai Municipality's second year of its Car Free Day project to ease pollution and encourage more environmental awareness in the emirate.

Dubai Municipality employees exiting Union Station and walking to work in support of Car Free Day.
Dubai Municipality employees exiting Union Station and walking to work in support of Car Free Day.

DUBAI // Catch a bus, get on your bike or simply stretch your legs - these are some of the alternatives on offer to at least 2,500 Dubai government employees who plan to leave their cars at home in favour of a greener commute on Wednesday.

This is the second year that Dubai Municipality is promoting Car Free Day to ease pollution and encourage more environmental awareness in the emirate, and all Dubai residents are being encouraged to follow suit.

Last year, more than 1,500 municipality employees took other means of transport to and from work, leaving their usually overcrowded car park completely deserted.

Car Free Day 2010 saved the environment from approximately three tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the municipality director general Hussain Nasser Lootah, who will lead the way for his employees this year by hopping on the Metro.

Following last year's success, the municipality has invited other agencies to join them and support has come from the Dubai Land Department, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Etisalat and the Roads and Transport Authority.

"Dubai is one of the highest-polluted areas, so we need to raise more awareness on the importance of saving the environment. We encourage everyone to take bicycles, abras, the Metro or walk," said the municipality director general Hussain Nasser Lootah, who will lead the way for his employees this year by hopping on the Metro.

Sultan Butti bin Mujrin, the director general of the Dubai Land Department, believes public transport has been made easy. "People are used to taking cars but it isn't difficult to use other means," he said. "We may get lost and take a while, but that's OK - we'll get there."

melshoush@thenational.ae