The second phase of a campaign series to raise environmental awareness in the Middle East has seen Dubai’s last remaining natural beach a protected marine reserve cleaned of litter and algae pollution.
Siemens, Volkswagen and Rotana have been working together on a series of events that will help to educate the public, raising awareness of the need to protect the Middle East’s varied habitats and the wildlife that depends on them.
Having collected and recycled 1,000kg of litter from the desert in March, this latest effort – Clean the Beach – saw more than 150 volunteers take to Emirates Marine Environmental Group’s marine reserve to collect rubbish from the beach and clear lagoons polluted by algae. The litter will be recycled by EMEG.
An important nesting area for turtles, the beach is home to a wide variety of marine and land-based wildlife, and is managed by EMEG to protect endangered species and conserve the fragile ecosystem for future generations.
We couldn’t have hoped for a better day said Stefan Mecha, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East. “Our teams of volunteers have done a remarkable job, and it’s extremely encouraging to see this level of enthusiasm for environmental responsibility.
“Clean the Beach, like Clean the Desert, forms part of our Think Blue campaign which encourages people to take small initiatives in everyday life to reduce the impact of their lives on the environment. Think Blue focuses on the wider environmental responsibility of Volkswagen Middle East too, and we hope to ensure that the momentum gathered during the campaign continues long after it’s finished.”
Commenting on the event Erich Kaeser, CEO of Siemens in the Middle East said: “A clean environment isn’t something we can take for granted, which is why it is important for responsible companies and individuals to come together and actively work towards greater environmental awareness. Siemens has a long history in this region – we’ve been present in the Middle East for more than 150 years – and we very much feel that it’s up to companies like ours to take a lead on this front.”
“We fully understand the importance of ensuring that the region’s unique landscapes remain intact for future generations, and it’s through the continued support of events like Clean the Beach – and teaming up with like-minded partners - that we can make sure this happens.”
Thomas Tapken, Area Vice President, Rotana Dubai & Northern Emirates said: “We’re extremely heartened to see the enthusiasm for Clean the Beach, and we’re confident that it will have far-reaching consequences. Rotana takes its corporate social responsibility very seriously and we realise that raising awareness of the need to protect the environment that’s supporting us all, is an absolute priority.”
Major Ali Saqar Al Suwaidi, President of EMEG, commented: “This is a great way to involve companies in the environment, and it is good because it raises awareness among their employees which is so important for the care of the UAE’s wildlife.”
Stefan Mecha concluded: “Clean the Beach was a huge success, and I’d very much like to thank our partners Siemens and Rotana - but it doesn’t stop here. The campaign will continue with further initiatives, so keep an eye on the Volkswagen Middle East Facebook page for details of the next event.”
Alongside Volkswagen, Siemens and Rotana, also contributing to the event’s success were EMEG, Expat Aktuell, PNS and Al Ain Water.