More than 1,500 organisations are expected to take part in this year’s Dubai Municipality Car Free Day on February 5, a 40 per cent increase from last year.

Dubai Municipality Director General Hussain Lootah said 580 organisations have signed up for the initiative so far, which aims to raise awareness on the environmental impact of driving and encourage residents to use public transport.

In 2016, nearly 1,070 organisations took part in the event. More are expected to be involved this year, including dignitaries and heads of government departments.

“Each vehicle, with a full 15-gallon tank, emits nearly 140 kilograms of carbon dioxide into the air, thus the amount of total emissions annually would be about four tonnes and these emissions contribute towards global warming,” he said.

This will be the eighth annual Car Free Day and employees of the General Directorate of Resident and Foreigners Affairs have committed to taking part. Many of the department’s employees already use Dubai Metro when commuting to work.

Support for the initiative, which launched in 2010 with only two organisations, has grown every year, Lootah said, and they hope to achieve record participation this year with more private sector companies getting involved.

Last year, nearly 30,000 personal vehicles were left at home for Car Free Day, with people opting to more using environmentally friendly transport instead. In the first year of the initiative, only 1,000 vehicles were left at home. (The National)

Companies wishing to take part in Car Free Day can register via Dubai Municipality’s website