What is Earth Hour? Why Dubai Airport and other parts of the UAE will go dark on Saturday

Residents are also encouraged to switch off lights and unnecessary electrical appliances for an hour

UAE residents are encouraged to switch off lights as part of Earth Hour. Photo: Deliveroo
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People around the world will be switching off their lights and unnecessary electrical appliances from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, as part of Earth Hour.

The grassroots movement was launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature as a symbolic lights-out event in Australia in 2007. It has since grown exponentially, with people from all over the world participating in a bid to do their part for Mother Earth.

What is Earth Hour?

Earth Hour encourages people to switch off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for one hour every year in order to reduce their carbon footprint. But, as the website states: “It is so much more than that. It is a symbol of unity. It is a symbol of hope. It is a symbol of power in collection action for nature.”

Lights are switched off inside the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai during Earth Hour on March 26, 2022. EPA

Earth Hour in the UAE

In the UAE, Emirates Nature-WWF is encouraging residents to be a part of the initiative “to switch off their lights and create the biggest hour for Earth, spending 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet". "Taking place during the Year of Sustainability and Cop28, this year’s campaign will serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of our planet, the need to protect it, and how little time we have to do so,” the group added.

The environmental conservation organisation is also inviting residents to head to the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo City Dubai at 8.15pm on Saturday for the switch-off, followed by a screening of David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet.

Other entities and communities participating in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights include Dubai International Airport, Legoland and The Green Planet, plus Dubai Holding Asset Management's residential properties across Bluewaters, CityWalk, Al Khail Gate, Shorouq, Ghoroob and Layan.

Celebrating Earth Hour at home

Switch off all of your electronics and just light a few candles around your home. You can play board games, read a book by candlelight or walk around your neighbourhood to pass the time.

Residents can also do their part for the planet by participating in virtual events such as hosting an Earth Hour Live party using Facebook Live, or connecting with others over Instagram or YouTube live streaming.