Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, the coordinator of Earth Hour in the UAE, today announces mass participation from the emirates as well as backing from the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who tweeted his support for one of the world’s largest environmental movements.
His Highness took to the social media site to demonstrate his support of Earth Hour, tweeting: “Sustaining our Earth remains a fundamental principle in our policies. Next generations have the right to inherit a clean & safe environment.”
He added: “The unity of nations and people in addressing the challenges of Climate Change is the best and shortest path in maintaining Earth’s climate.”
Meanwhile, thousands of people took part in public events across the country to mark the ‘lights off’ phenomenon and to pledge to long-term change for a more sustainable world.
The UAE community joined organisations and groups in a series events throughout the Emirates including a candle-lit walk on both Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Corniche, a glow-in-the-dark table-tennis tournament at Jumeirah Rotana in Dubai and the ever popular DEWA Earth Hour event at the Burj Plaza which saw thousands of families come together at the base of the World’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Other creative activities included a scrap material art competition at Dubai Silicon Oasis and a national wide photographer competition to capture the evening’s festivities. 2013 saw all major cities from the emirates plunge into darkness to join more than 150 countries around the world making it the largest ever participation during the history of Earth Hour.
World-renowned buildings such as the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi and Al Qasbah in Sharjah were added to a long list of prestigious global landmarks who switched off their lights including Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Wall of China, the Gateway of India, the Eiffel Tower and the Tower of Pisa.
Ida Tillisch, Acting Director General of EWS-WWF said: “We are extremely grateful of the support afforded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Earth Hour and congratulate UAE residents in making Earth Hour 2013 even bigger and more impactful. Once again the UAE community demonstrated its commitment to Earth Hour by switching off the lights, hosting community events and really making the campaign come to life. Of course, while we can celebrate the successes of this year’s event, we should not forget that Earth Hour acts as a reminder to us all to consider ways we can reduce our impact on the planet and work towards a more sustainable future.
“The I Will If You Will platform is a fantastic way for the UAE to continue working towards a sustainable future by challenging friends, colleagues and family to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Pledges can still be made on youtube.com/earthhour and we urge everyone to either accept someone else’s environmental pledge or to create a new one. By working together, as Earth Hour proves, we can all make a change to the future of our planet that goes beyond just one hour. Turning off the lights is just the beginning and we are asking the UAE to help make every hour, Earth Hour.”
The Earth Hour 2012 I Will If You Will campaign will continue at www.YouTube.com/EarthHour - Dare the World to Save the Planet.