The UAE issues a decision to block lighting in public places and building facades after midnight

ahmed atef - | Arab News

The "Abu Dhabi Dark Sky Policy" is a new environmental initiative by the Department of Municipalities and Transportation – Abu Dhabi. Its goals are to protect the city's night sky and encourage a more sustainable future for all of the emirate's residents.

The Abu Dhabi Media Office claims that the department is working on this policy, the first of its kind in the region, and that it will hold a large-scale awareness campaign with the slogan "the beauty of Abu Dhabi by the splendor of its sky" to educate locals and tourists about the value of protecting the nighttime skyscape.

Addressing the harmful effects of light pollution

The Department hopes that by introducing sustainable lighting mechanisms and techniques, this policy will help address the detrimental effects of light pollution and contribute to the global efforts of the International Dark Sky Association.

The new policy aims to protect wildlife and the environment, promote scientific research in the field of astronomy, improve public health, and assist sustainable development initiatives. It also encourages the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable lighting systems.

Turn off the lights in public areas

The policy's application mechanism involves turning off lights in public areas, like building facades, as well as turning on security lighting via motion sensors and implementing a lighting blocking system that goes into effect at midnight and covers a variety of locations, including streets, parks, beaches, stores, open spaces, industrial and agricultural zones, and public buildings.

In compliance with the new policy, the policy provides a deadline to all parties involved in adjusting the situation. It also excludes some unique instances involving temporary lighting during events, particularly festivals, celebrations, and other events.

Improving the quality of life in the emirate

The Department of Municipalities and Transportation's dedication to upholding the highest standards to improve the emirate's quality of life and its concern for the health and safety of its citizens is embodied in the introduction of the Dark Sky public policy in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. This policy sets sustainable standards that guarantee the preservation of natural life, the emirate's aesthetic appeal, and the tranquility of its sky.

According to Dr. Salem Al Kaabi, Director General of Operations Affairs at the Department of Municipalities and Transport, the general dark sky policy in the emirate of Abu Dhabi represents a form of community commitment to achieve a sustainable future in which all members of the community, in accordance with global environmental initiatives, enjoy the beauty of the night sky and can clearly see its stars and planets.

"The new policy is a comprehensive framework for responsible urban development, and a means to enhance awareness levels of the importance of using sustainable lighting systems that preserve the image of the beautiful clear sky, and create harmony between the landscapes of the sky and the urban image of the emirate in a way that improves the quality of life in the emirate, and in line with global environmental initiatives," stated Al Kaabi. He also pointed out that the regulations and laws of this policy cover a wide geographical scope, including the public and private sectors, and are applied to both newly installed and previously installed outdoor lighting as well as interior lighting of private facilities whose light is reflected outside and causes optical pollution.

The Abu Dhabi Lighting brochure, the design guide for shop fronts in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the architectural facades design guide, the controls of the sustainability system for grading public spaces with Pearls, the mechanism for tracking light pollution and educating the public about the need to reduce it, and the strategies for maintaining the emirate's sky all contribute to the development of this policy and the accomplishment of its goals, he continued.

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ahmed atef
ahmed atef
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The UAE announces blocking lighting in public places and buildings at night