Dubai's Burj Khalifa tower is pictured during Earth Hour. Image Credit: Sankha Kar/Gulf News

Dubai A record 126 countries and territories, over 4,000 cities, towns and municipalities and hundreds of millions of people around the globe took part in Earth Hour on Saturday.

Across the world different cities and towns switched their lights off for 60 minutes during an overall period of 25 hours and 45 minutes.

In Dubai a massive Lantern March organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) took place between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

"By switching off the lights and other electrical appliances, we saved nearly 170 megawatt-hours, equivalent to 170,000 kilowatt-hours [kWh] and reduced the ratio of carbon dioxide by 102,000kg," said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dewa, in a statement on Saturday.

He added Dubai has, through its participation in Earth Hour over the past two years, saved 246,000kWh and reduced 148,000kg of carbon dioxide emissions.


Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour, said on Saturday, "The response from citizens, businesses and governments has been truly phenomenal. Crossing geographic, economic and cultural boundaries, it has brought together people from all over the planet to celebrate the one thing we all share — the place we live."

More than 5,500 people participated in the march, according to Al Tayer. The participants carried lanterns to indicate their support for the switching off of lights and cutting out needless electricity consumption during Earth Hour.

"The organising of this Lantern March is an expression of Dubai's support for and solidarity with sustaining our living environment; a symbolic gesture that reflects Dubai's commitment to the cause of conserving our natural resources, through good utility-consumption and usage behaviour," he said.

Amal Koshak, Dewa Senior Manager, Demand and Tariff Management Department, said: "Earth Hour is not intended to just turn off the lights for one hour or so, every year; the initiative is intended draw the attention of people and establishments [so] that they can work together for the benefit of themselves and their planet, and that everyone can make a difference."

What is it?

The Earth Hour initiative was conceived by the WWF and launched for the first time in Sydney in 2007. The event aims to encourage everyone to rationalise their electricity consumption in order to reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution