Deserted streets and Sheikh Mohammed riding the metro: The best of Dubai's #CarFreeDay

Published February 5th, 2017 - 10:56 GMT
Car Free Day in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010 (Wikimedia Commons)
Car Free Day in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010 (Wikimedia Commons)

As Emiratis participate in Dubai’s eighth annual “Car Free Day”, social media has been flooded with striking images.

From traffic-free highways to famous faces on public transport, the initiative launched in 2010 to reduce pollution has proved highly photogenic for Twitterers in the UAE.

Usually at this time #Sheikh_Zayed street is congested… today #DubaiSavingTheEnvironment on #CarFreeDay

Hundreds of thousands of public and private sector workers have been targeted by the Dubai Municipality’s campaign, which this year will give a charitable donation for each employee who ditches his/her vehicle, as part of the “Year of Giving.”

Many have shared pictures of themselves making an alternative daily commute:

 

Even the Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took the metro today:

This is the difference… See Sheikh Mohammed standing with the Metro passengers without any special treatment or cameramen.

Eagle-eyed observers will note that this is not the first time the Emirati Prime Minister has been spotted on public transport. Last summer, he rode the London Underground with the Crown Prince of Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed was not alone in taking the metro today, as many other public figures followed suit, including these officials from Dubai's municipal authority:

Participation of the Roads and Transport Authority in the #CarFreeDay initiative organized by the #DubaiMunicipality

The heads of the departments of Dubai's Municipality in one of Dubai's metro trains this morning, participating in the #CarFreeDay

Meanwhile, the Municipality's Director General, Hussain Nasser Lootah visited an special exhibition set up for the occasion:

Director General of the Dubai Municipality on a visit with officials involved in the exhibition accompanying the #CarFreeDay initiative

Across its seven years, the initiative has prevented 263 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. In 2016, 43,000 vehicles belonging to individuals from 1,070 organisations remained at home on #CarFreeDay. From social media participation alone, it seems that this year will be no different.

RA

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