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The Dubai Municipality has kickstarted the Car-Free Day initiative on Sunday morning with people from across the emirates joining the 10th edition of the annual drive by ditching their cars for a day.

No cars at Dubai Municipality parking lot on Sunday, to mark the UAE Car Free Day. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment joined Dawood Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, and heads of various government departments to lead the initiative promoted this year as "UAE Car-Free Day 10".

The senior officials boarded the metro from the Etisalat station to reach the Union Station.

Dr Thani Zeyoudi and Dawoud Al Hajiri take the Dubai Metro with senior officials of UAE government departments as part of 'car-free' day drive Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

A grand celebration of the 10th anniversary of the green initiative is being held at the Union Metro Park.

Several people who took part by not driving today have reached the venue.

An exhibition of environmental-friendly vehicles and other solutions is also being held at the venue.

Thousands joined the initiative, spearheaded by the Dubai Municipality, which has organised its 10th Car-Free Day on Sunday.

Dubai Police on bicycles at environmental exhibition to celebrate the occasion of UAE Car Free Day, a national initiative of Dubai Municipality. Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The environmental drive is aimed at encouraging people to use public transport and reduce carbon emissions in the air due to vehicle use.

It was called the ‘UAE Car Free Day’ this year with expanded participation from other emirates, protecting the environment and reducing carbon footprint at the UAE level.

Last year, Al Ain, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah municipalities were the first ones to join the annual environmental campaign of Dubai Municipality aimed at reducing carbon emission from vehicles.

Officials said the 10th anniversary has seen the participation of people from different entities across all the seven emirates, making it a nationwide movement.

The municipality had started the initiative in 2010 with just 1,000 vehicles kept away from the streets by the officials and employees of the civic body.

Cycling to work

Sama Khalid, a leading rider in the UAE who coaches the women force of Dubai Police, cycled along with a team of riders from Cafe Peloton in Jumeirah to promote the UAE Car Free Day.

Sama Khalid, a rider in the UAE who coaches the women force of Dubai Police, cycled along with a team of riders from Jumeirah to the Union Metro station to promote the UAE Car Free Day. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

“I would like to see more women taking up cycling,” Khalid told Gulf News. The team left the bicycle-themed restaurant at 6:40am and reached the Union Metro Station by 7:30am, said Giovanni Cocuzzo, head of cycling.

Majed Saeed, founder of Cafe Peloton, said the team joined Dubai Municipality’s initiative to promote the message that people should take up cycling not just for fitness but also as a mode of transportation.

“Our team members cycle to work when the weather is good. We would like to encourage others also to do that,” he said. Senior officials appreciated the team for their participation in the green initiative asking motorists to avoid the use of cars to reduce pollution.