Dubai: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (Moccae) on Saturday launched the UAE Air Quality Index (UAE AQI) on the ministry’s smart app.

The index displays real-time readings of the satellite-monitored AQI across the UAE.

Launched in collaboration with Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the UAE AQI employs cutting-edge technologies in live monitoring of air quality and, using specific algorithms, it forecasts the AQI status for up to three days in advance, in addition to predicting the concentration of dust and particulate matters with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5).

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Air pollution is arguably one of the most important concerns around the world today and has a serious impact on human health and the environment. That is why the quality of the air we breathe is a key issue highlighted in the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021. The agenda aims to raise the air quality from its current level to 90 per cent by 2021. The new index will help us get there.

“Knowledge is power. We believe that by providing the public with access to real-time AQI readings and calculated forecasts, they can make informed decisions to help the nation achieve its targets. We are confident we will see enhanced projects and initiatives that aim to cut down carbon emissions. The UAE AQI is in line with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, announced by the leadership to achieve the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071.”

There are currently 41 stations monitoring air quality across the UAE. The satellite readings will complement the output of these stations and result in highly accurate and reliable data.

The AQI is based on the concentration of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). To ensure that the data can be understood by the public, pollutant values have been colour coded. The daily AQI indicates the colour, value (ranging from 0 to 500) and the dominating air pollutant that is affecting the ambient air quality.

The UAE AQI is accessible on the Moccae smart app and portal, or on the link earth.masdar.ac.ae/air_quality/forecast_aqi.php