BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today,
26 March 2010
A number of iconic landmarks in the UAE will keep dimmed their lights between 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, as the Earth Hour this year turns out to be the largest call in history for action on climate change.
The resting place of the UAE's founding father, the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, will join other iconic landmarks, including the world's tallest man-made structure Burj Khalifa, and the world's largest shopping centre The Dubai Mall.
A number of events and gatherings will take place in all the seven emirates of the UAE to spread the Earth Hour message. The residents are urged to turn off all unnecessary electrical equipment, including their air-conditioners to mark the Earth Hour.
According to the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), the Earth Hour observation in the UAE this year is expected to be exceeding the previous year's campaign, as various government institutions, business establishments and individuals express potential support to the cause.
Ida Tillisch, a EWS official, said, "Since we started campaigning for the initiative, the increasing response for participation in the Earth Hour has been encouraging. Hundreds of people and organisations concerned about the climate change have signed up, and many interested categories have taken initiative to promote the campaign."
The line-up of the landmarks observing the global climate cause includes, Burj Al Arab, Emaar Properties' The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina and Emirates Living, the Emirates Palace, Raffles Hotel, ADIA Building, Grosvenor House, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Hotel, Aldar Head Quarters, Enpark, Fairmont Dubai, Schneider Electric FZE, Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa Dubai, Kraft Foods, Masdar, Khidmah, Trane Middle East, Dubai Aluminum, Sharjah Mega Mall, Coca Cola Middle East, Tecom, Media One Hotel, Dubai World Trade Centre, the Yas Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit, Sas Radisson Hotel Blue and many other properties.
They will "flick the switch" on their signature landmarks, marking their dedication to sustainable development and joining their citizens in adopting low-carbon practices switching off the lights in a decisive display of climate action.
Governmental entities such as
Dubai Municipality, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Abu Dhabi Transport Authority, HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd., Dubai Police, Dubai Holding, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Sharjah Aquarium, will turn off all non essential lights to mark the Earth Hour. Sharjah Science Museum
The performance of The Dubai Fountain, the world's tallest performing fountain, will resume after the Earth Hour.
"The initiative will help to preserve the environment, promote sustainability and make communities a better place to work and live in," said Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber.
The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) issued a strong call to citizens, companies and public institutions throughout the emirate to switch off lights as part of the Earth Hour.
EAD will be organising an internal awareness gathering for its employees and partners to screen a film demonstrating the simple ways they can conserve energy.
"The Earth Hour is not intended to be the solution to global warming, but rather a way of affirming our commitment to tackling what is the most serious challenge presently facing humanity," said Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the EAD.
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, UAE Managing Director of Emaar Properties, said, "With Burj Khalifa switches off its exterior lights, the message of sustainable growth initiatives will reach out a large audience across the world."
, a lantern march will be staged on beach road, closed partially for traffic during the Hear Hour. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will lead the march, inspiring all residents and organisations in the country to participate in the campaign, said Amal Koshak, Senior Manager at Demand and Tariff Management at Dewa. Dubai
NBD bank will participate in the global Earth Hour observation turning lights off in all its offices and 132 branches in the country and abroad, said Sulaiman Al Mazroui, General Manager, Group Corporate Communications at Emirates NBD.
NBD members join the initiative from their homes, as small individual efforts can make a big difference, he added.
The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar will also be participating in the Earth Hour and is helping to promote the initiative.