Last year, nearly 30,000 personal vehicles were left at home for Car Free Day, with people opting to more using environmentally friendly transport instead. Antonie Robertson / The National
Last year, nearly 30,000 personal vehicles were left at home for Car Free Day, with people opting to more using environmentally friendly transport instead. Antonie Robertson / The National

More than 1,500 organisations expected to take part in Car Free Day



DUBAI // More than 1,500 organisations are expected to take part in this year’s Dubai Municipality Car Free Day, a 40 per cent increase from last year.

Hussain Lootah, director general, said 580 organisations have signed up for the initiative so far. It aims to raise awareness on the environmental impact of driving and encourage residents to use public transport.

“There are 365 days in the year, and Car Free Day does not necessarily have to be just one day on February 5,” Mr Lootah said. “We encourage companies to hold their own car free day for their employees, and, we, at Dubai Municipality, are ready to provide them with the support they need.”

In 2016, nearly 1,070 organisations took part in the event, Mr Lootah said. More are expected to be involved this year, including dignitaries and heads of government departments.

“Each vehicle, with a full 15-gallon tank, emits nearly 140 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the air, thus the amount of total emissions annually would be about four tonnes and these emissions contribute towards global warming,” he said.

This will be the eighth annual Car Free Day and employees of the General Directorate of Resident and Foreigners Affairs have committed to taking part.

Many of the department’s employees already use Dubai Metro when commuting to work, said Maj Gen Ahmed Al Marri, director general of GDRFA.

“I, myself, use the metro when I have meetings at the airport,” he said. “Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is very punctual. You know exactly how much time you need to get to your destination.

Support for the initiative, which launched in 2010 with only two organisations, has grown every year, Mr Lootah said. He said they hoped to achieve record participation this year with more private sector companies getting involved.

Last year, nearly 30,000 personal vehicles were left at home for Car Free Day, with people opting to more using environmentally friendly transport instead, Mr Lootah said. “In the first year of the initiative, only 1,000 vehicles were left at home.”

Companies wishing to take part in Car Free Day can register via Dubai Municipality's website dm.gov.ae.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Fireball

Moscow claimed it hit the largest military fuel storage facility in Ukraine, triggering a huge fireball at the site.

A plume of black smoke rose from a fuel storage facility in the village of Kalynivka outside Kyiv on Friday after Russia said it had destroyed the military site with Kalibr cruise missiles.

"On the evening of March 24, Kalibr high-precision sea-based cruise missiles attacked a fuel base in the village of Kalynivka near Kyiv," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine confirmed the strike, saying the village some 40 kilometres south-west of Kyiv was targeted.

MEYDAN CARD

6.30pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group One (PA) US$65,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) $175,000 (Turf) 1,200m

7.40pm UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Conditions (TB) $100,000 (D) 1,600m

8.15pm Singspiel Stakes Group Two (TB) $250,000 (T) 1,800m

8.50pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

9.25pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 Group Two (TB) $350,000 (D) 1,600m

10pm Dubai Trophy Conditions (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,200m

10.35pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 1,600m

The National selections:

6.30pm AF Alwajel

7.05pm Ekhtiyaar

7.40pm First View

8.15pm Benbatl

8.50pm Zakouski

9.25pm: Kimbear

10pm: Chasing Dreams

10.35pm: Good Fortune

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)