Watch: Major landmarks in UAE switch off lights for Earth Hour

Volunteers count down to moment when lights go off at Terra Sustainability Pavilion in Expo City Dubai


Nasreen Abdulla

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KT photo/Nasreen Abdulla
KT photo/Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sat 25 Mar 2023, 9:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Mar 2023, 10:46 PM

Major landmarks, communities and individual homes across the UAE switched off their lights at 8:30pm to partake in the global campaign of Earth Hour 2023.

In Dubai, the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab switched off its lights while at the Expo over 120 people counted down to the moment of 8:30.

Environment enthusiast Najib Mohammed Ismail spent Dh135 on taxi to reach the event on time from his residence in Sharjah. “I wanted to come here and support the initiative,” he said. “For me, every hour is Earth hour and everyday is Earth day. The environment is the most precious gift we have and we have to safeguard it.”

Prior to that, volunteers gathered in the main hall of the Terra pavilion before heading out to pose for a photograph in front of the pavilion. Conducting the event was Emirates Nature-WWF.

Arabella, from the organsation spoke about how important the initiative was for the environment. “We are faced with two huge challenges these days,” said Arabella.

“One is climate change and the other is the challenge of biodiversity loss.”

Some of the volunteers came representing their organizations. Amitabh, Brenda, Randy and Michelle from Emirates NBD said they came as part of the bank’s commitment to the environment. “We are hoping this event will help raise awareness about the work we need to do to protect our nature,” said Randy.

After the lights were switched off, the volunteers made their way back to the pavilion where they watched a special journey video of Emirates Nature-WWF showcasing 22 years of environmental victories across the country. The video paid homage to the nation’s founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his vision for a sustainable future. In 1997, Sheikh Zayed became the first head of state to be honored with the Golden Panda award by WWF.

This was followed by a screening of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet after which visitors were encouraged to ask questions and learn from the experts on how to safeguard the planet's future.

Elsewhere in the city, Dubai Holding Asset Management's residential communities like Bluewaters, City Walk, Al Khail Gate, Shorouq, Ghoroob and Layan turned off their non-essential lights to mark the Earth Hour.

Green Planet Dubai, the Middle East’s only indoor rainforest biodome, also joined in the movement.

Since its beginnings in 2007, Earth Hour has been known for the “lights off” moment, with people from around the globe switching off their lights to show symbolic support for the planet and to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting it. The grassroot movement encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off their lights and other non-essential electrical appliances for one hour.

The Dubai Astronomy Group took advantage of the occasion to organize a stargazing event, at the Al Qudra Desert in Dubai which includes an iftar under the stars with sky mapping and astrophotography sessions.

According to experts, the next 7 years are crucial to stay under the 1.5°C climate threshold to avoid irreversible damage to the planet. It is also essential to reverse nature loss by 2030.


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