Earth Hour 2015 sees all seven Emirates ‘switch off’ | WWF

Earth Hour 2015 sees all seven Emirates ‘switch off’

Posted on 30 March 2015
Burj Khalifa during Earth Hour 2015
© Sophie Petkova
UAE, 29 March 2015: Residents from across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accepted the Earth Hour invitation to ‘switch off and use their power’ last night. Homes and businesses throughout the seven emirates joined the call to protect the planet and switched off all non-essential lights for one hour at 8.30pm.

The Earth Hour movement in the UAE, coordinated by Emirates Wildlife Society - WWF (EWS-WWF), and supported by key partners across the emirates, saw iconic landmarks that grace the emirates’ skyline show their support by participating in the movement, including the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab in Dubai, and Emirates Palace and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The successful stand against climate change saw more UAE participants than ever before thanks to the ever increasing awareness of the project by EWS-WWF, partners and local ambassadors including His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi (The Green Sheikh), DEWA’s climate change champions; Nana Badawi, Adel Altamimi, Taha Alhamry and Ahmed Abu Alam, entrepreneur and media personality Anas Bukhash, TV star and radio presenter DJ Bliss,  The Scoop Dubai blogger Dana Kalache and popular Dubai One show presenters Dina and Omar Butti, and singer Nile.

Ida Tillisch, Director General at EWS-WWF, said: “Earth Hour 2015 in the UAE has been another great success and we are proud that participant numbers have been higher than ever before.”

“We would like thank everyone who took part this year. The UAE community, individuals, businesses and government, made this movement a memorable success. Many organisations went above and beyond and mobilised their entire communities to join Earth Hour, others inspired action among their employees that goes beyond the hour. Many influential social media users, media personalities, students of all ages also lent us their social power, joining our Earth Hour Tongue Twister Challenge. It is inspiring to see what we can do when we come together, and we hope that more people know today about climate change and are moved to take action.”

Earth Hour continues to highlight how people all over the globe can come together and make a positive environmental change. The event is the world’s largest grass-roots movement towards a sustainable future for the planet, which began its journey across 172 countries yesterday with over 1,400 global landmarks taking part. The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco joined the long list of prestigious buildings to switch off their lights.

Earth Hour UAE 2015 aimed to raise awareness about the issue of climate change; and how our lifestyle habits, such as our water usage, can impact the environment. In order to support this, DEWA held an Earth Hour event at Bay Avenue Park, where they invited residents to witness the switch off, and entertained the excited crowd with a fire show and activities hosted by other Earth Hour partners.
EWS-WWF was also present at the event inviting residents to celebrate our planet, with support from Pico UAE, a global Total Brand Activation company and a recognised certified sustainable organisation, to help spread the message and drive awareness among local residents.
To help spread the Earth Hour message, the UAE community also got involved in the Earth Hour Tongue Twister challenge. This saw residents upload their attempts at the tricky tongue twister to social media using the campaign hashtag #YourPowerUAE and #EarthHourUAE and donating to EWS-WWF work on tackling climate change through The campaign reached around 2.3 million people on social media platforms across the UAE in the last three weeks alone. Hashtags in relation to Earth Hour made a total of 31.7 million impressions across the emirates.
“From the Earth's extremes to outer space, people came together to send a clear message that action on climate is on top of their agenda. Earth Hour confirms our belief that in order to change climate change we need to act together. WWF will continue to do its share to shape strong, global climate solutions,” said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Chair, Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global.

Earth Hour 2015 reached out to more people worldwide and in the UAE than ever before. EWS-WWF invites the UAE community to go beyond the hour by continuing to find new ways to implement a sustainable lifestyle.  
Burj Khalifa during Earth Hour 2015
© Sophie Petkova Enlarge