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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour 2008

Per Gulf News:

Dubai to switch off lights tonight for Earth Hour
03/29/2008 08:54 AM | By Kevin ScottStaff Reporter

Dubai: Thousands of people are expected to take part in a Lantern Parade from 8pm to 9pm on Saturday night to mark Earth Hour.

The parade will begin at the Burj Al Arab and will follow a two-km route along Beach Road to Jumeirah Beach Park and back. Jumeirah Road will be closed for an hour between Al Thaniya and Umm Suqueim intersections in both directions. The intensity of streetlights will also be reduced on this road.

The parade will be marked by the switching off the Burj Al Arab's exterior lights and fire fountain, plunging Dubai famous landmark into darkness. It is organised by Dubai Holding and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

Dubai is the first Arab city to declare support for Earth Hour. In a poll conducted by City 7 TV in Dubai, 98 per cent of people taking part said they would support the initiative by turning off unnecessary lighting and appliances. Other landmarks, including Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Emirates Towers and Madinat Jumeirah will switch off their exterior lights. Nakheel has informed all staff and residents of Palm Jumeirah, Gardens, Jumeirah Islands, International City and Discovery Gardens of the event and its importance.

"It included guidance on how to participate," said Aaron Richardson, spokesperson for Nakheel. He said Earth Hour was an excellent tool in creating awareness.

During Earth Hour, Ibn Battuta Mall will turn off its floodlights and exterior lighting. "We will aim to extinguish all non-essential lights across our offices and construction sites. We will also liaise with third party contractors with the aim of extinguishing all non-essential lights on their own sites," he added. Abdullah Raffia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Environment and Public Health Affairs, said an internal circular has been issued urging more than 10,000 Municipality staff to participate by switching off non-essential lights as well as electrical and electronic appliances.

Marco Nijhof, Senior Vice-President for Jumeirah Group - Gulf Region, said: "We are also encouraging our guests to actively participate by switching off their lights."

Union Properties PJSC (UP) will also switch off the external lights of UP Tower, its landmark building on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Simon Azzam, Chief Executive Officer of Union Properties, said: "We look forward to joining Dubai and the rest of the world ... to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming."

The Dubai World Cup takes place at Nad Al Sheba today but it will not be affected by the initiative. Seb Vance, Media PR Manager for Dubai Racing Club, said: "Dubai Racing Club won't be switching off non-essential lights as we cannot afford to jeopardise the safety of 55,000 racegoers."

personal note:
It will be interesting to see the city plunged into darkness... I'm staying inside but wish me luck for a safe 're-light'.

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