Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, and City Centre Al Shindagha each have convenient metro stations at proximity and urged visitors to leave their cars at home and hop onto the metro, buses, or if possible walk or bike to the malls.
Car-Free Day, the first-of-its-kind initiative in the region, has grown over the years and marked its seventh edition in 2016. According to Dubai Municipality, in 2010, 1,000 cars were left at home compared to 30,000 in 2015. Since inception, the initiative would have contributed to the reduction of an estimated 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. This year it is estimated that 1,000 entities took part in the initiative.
“In line with Dubai’s efforts to become the world’s most environment-friendly city, Majid Al Futtaim was proud to support Dubai Municipality’s visionary initiative aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, by encouraging the public to avoid using their cars for an entire day. Sustainability is at the core of our company’s values and we felt compelled to remind visitors of alternative ways to come to the malls to create a positive change,” said Fuad Sharaf, Senior Director – Property Management, Shopping Malls for Majid Al Futtaim Properties.
Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship mall, Mall of the Emirates, can be easily accessed by metro at metro station number 32 ‘Mall of the Emirates’, in Zone 2 on the Red Line. Alternatively, bus routes stop directly in front of the iconic lifestyle destination. For those who headed to City Centre Deira, the metro could transport them to station number 16, in the Zone 3 on the Red Line. Regular bus routes also pass by the popular shopping destinations that mall guests were able to use.
Shoppers who visited the newest mall of Majid Al Futtaim, City Centre Al Shindagha, were able to exit at station number 24 ‘Al Ghubaiba Metro Station’ in Zone 5 on the Green Line, located near the centre on Al Ghubaiba Road, or ride on the regular buses to and from the mall. Conveniently located on Dubai’s Creek, City Centre Al Shindagha can also be accessed using the regular water taxi’s. For more information and to book tickets please visit http://www.rta.ae/eservices/WaterTaxi/WaterTaxiBooking.action?request_locale=en
For further information on bus routes and timetables to and from Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira and City Centre Al Shindagha, please visit http://dubai-buses.com/
Roads and Transport Authority also offers a free app, Wojhati, allowing users to visualise Metro stations locations, bus and tram routes. The app provides data on arrival time, trip duration, fares, directions to destination and alerts in case of delays.
DUBAI // Despite continuing awareness campaigns by the Dubai Government, some residents continue to be hesitant about using public transport.
On Sunday, Dubai Municipality is holding its seventh annual Car Free Day, when people are asked to keep their vehicles at home and instead use more sustainable modes of getting around, such as cycling, walking or public transport.
Bahia Barakat considers herself environmentally conscious and walks to her destinations whenever possible.
“I know people that would take their car to the market, which is about an eight-minute walk from my residence, and I don’t understand that,” she said.
“I would always walk if it’s a place that’s less than 10-15 minutes away. However, a person living in Dubai does have to travel long distances and this is when I feel like I have to use my car.”
The 24-year-old said that the Metro was not practical for commuters wanting to get to their destination as fast as possible.
“I also have my family living in Sharjah. I don’t think there is any other way to get to another emirate unless it’s by taxi or private vehicle.”
Souad Benali, 55, cycles to work every day. “I think if the distance is not too far and it’s safe, then everyone should cycle to work,” she said.
It takes her between 10-15 minutes to get to her work on Al Wasl Road from Jumeirah, where she lives. Ms Benali called the Car Free Day a great idea. “I do it for health reasons and I do it for the environment, there is no downside here.”
For Ali Khan, using public transport is a good option when he is not in a hurry.
“If I plan for it, and I’m not late for a meeting or anything, I will take the Metro or bus. It’s cheaper and it’s less of a hassle, because parking can be very annoying at times,” said the 27-year-old.
“However, public transport can take so much more time. A 30-minute car ride can be an hour or more on the Metro.”
Mr Khan said that he would leave his car at home on Sunday in support of the initiative.
“All it takes is a little more planning and maybe waking up a little earlier, and that doesn’t seem too difficult to do for the sake of the environment.”
The Roads and Transport Authority’s free journey planner app, Wojhati, allows people to see Metro station locations, as well as bus, metro and tram routes.
It also provides data on arrival time, trip duration, fares, directions to destination and alerts in case of delays.
Once a person enters their location and their destination, the app provides transport options and total costs.
The Google Maps app provides the user with three options: public transport, vehicles and walking.
It also issues alerts for congestion and provides alternate routes.
Journeys can also be planned by calling the RTA on 8009090 or in visiting the website rta.ae.