Al Arabiya News studios in the United Arab Emirates and the country’s iconic structures, notably in Dubai, sat in darkness on Saturday for one hour to save the planet.
The buzzing news room which is usually flashing with lights and cameras looked quiet and somewhat barren as the UAE and others across the globe marked Earth Hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30pm.
Dubai also held its annual event called the ‘Earth Hour Walk’ which started at Burj Plaza in Downtown Dubai. Organisers of Earth Hour and representatives of government and private sector entities took part in the walk.
Structures in Dubai switched off all non-essential lighting appliances so landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Souk Al Bahar, Gold & Diamond Park and The Address Hotels + Resorts all blended into the night sky.
Ski Dubai looked like a romantic place to be with its lights turned off and instead illuminated with candle torches which lined the ski slope. Numerous Ski Dubai instructors were kitted out in glow-in-the-dark uniforms.
Other iconic landmarks and skylines were plunged into darkness around the world to raise awareness of climate change.
Sydney kicked off the event, cutting lights to cheers and applause from a small crowd who had gathered to see the skyline dim and Sydney Opera House turn a deep green to symbolize renewable energy.
“What started as an event in Sydney in 2007 with two million people has now become a tradition across the country and across the world,” Dermot O’Gorman, head of WWF-Australia, said.
“It’s now an organic, people-powered movement... which is fantastic.”
Last year more than 150 countries participated in the event which saw some of the world’s most iconic landmarks dim, and this year the movement has spread to Palestine, Tunisia, Suriname and Rwanda.
Newcomers to be plunged into darkness include Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid, the statue of David in Florence and Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
This year Earth Hour Australia is asking participants to “switch off for good” and move to renewable energy.