Residents across Dubai, Al Ain, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah left their keys on their tables and hopped into public transport on Sunday to take part in the ninth annual Car Free Day.
The Dubai Municipality initiative expanded this year to include three more emirates and leading the charge on UAE Environment Day was the Minister of Climate Change the Environment himself.
Hussain Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, travelled from Etisalat Metro Station to Union Metro Station to inaugurate the day at Union Metro Park along with Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi and Abdullah Al Basti, Secretary-General of the Executive Council in Dubai.
The men were accompanied by a number of officials from various local and federal government departments.
There are no figures in yet on how many commuters left their vehicles at home, but about 60,000 did last year.
"It is a great pleasure for Dubai to have this great participation of the UAE's municipalities, government departments, establishments and institutions and a large number of individuals in the Year of Zayed," said Mr Lootah.
He said the municipality was working to find sustainable and effective solutions to environmental challenges in the emirate, most notably air pollution caused by vehicle emissions.
"Each vehicle, with a full tank fuel size of 15 gallons, emits nearly 140 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the air, taking the annual emissions to four tons, contributing towards global warming.
“The campaign will contribute in achieving our objectives of UAE National Agenda 2021 in preserving air quality and reducing carbon footprint," he said.
Mr Lootah took the occasion to launch of the first environmentally friendly mobile air quality monitoring station at the regional level in terms of design, quality of equipment and tools.
He also launched an environmental sustainability guide for the industrial sector in Dubai.