WAM DUBAI: The UAE joined the rest of the world on Saturday night in celebrating the Earth Hour 2013 by turning off lights and switching off unnecessary devices for an hour beginning 8.30pm. There was an underlying hope in the symbolic act that with the occasion, the country could inspire a truly global community committed to work towards achieving a more sustainable planet, a local news paper reported.
It was a green opportunity for thousands of residents mainly from Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and the other emirates, to unite in taking a stand against climate change and for a sustainable future.
“This was in solidarity with millions of people and thousands of cities and towns across the world who spoke in one voice: “I love you Mother Earth,” the Gulf Today said.
A number of iconic landmarks in the UAE dimmed their lights during the hour. The move was in response to the invitation to �switch off and go beyond the hour,’ that was extended to one and all to strengthen awareness of energy use efficiency and global warming.
The resting place of the UAE’s founding father, the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, joined other iconic landmarks including the world’s tallest man-made structure Burj Khalifa, and the world’s largest shopping centre The Dubai Mall, the Gulf Today said.
The Emirates Wildlife Society, in association with World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), had volunteered to be part of the Earth Hour in the UAE and campaigned to ensure participation of individuals and organisations in this global environmental call to action.
This year, there were many Earth Hour events all around the UAE. All seven emirates took part, including 22 cities, where key landmarks switched off during the hour, which saw several public and community events being organised to bring people together.
It is estimated that the Earth Hour message reached over 3 million residents in the UAE, through media coverage, social media activation and corporate outreach, the paper said.