Dubai and Air Pollution

Dubai is the capital city of the emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. With the amount of growth of residents and tourism, along with its’ massive oil production, Dubai and air pollution has become quite a topic of concern and conversation with both government and environmentalists.

The country of Dubai and air pollution unfortunately have a very close relationship. Air pollution in Dubai is at an all-time high, mostly due to the use of automobiles. Automobile pollution is contributing to the highest levels of air pollution in the world, which is something that needs to be considered and changed for the good of the citizens of Dubai and the good of the world.

One test of the on-road vehicle emissions in Dubai found that they were up to five times higher than other areas of the world. These numbers include many different pollutants, including hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides that are commonly found in car emissions. Dubai’s percentage was 13 percent over the ten-month test period, while the percentage in Virginia was 2.5 percent, and the Canadian average was 4.7 percent.[1] These numbers clearly show that the automobile emissions problem in Dubai is staggering and needs to be controlled.
Due to the rapid growth of industry and the degree of urbanization that is occurring, Dubai is finding this growth comes with a very steep price. The number of automobiles has significantly increased per family and the number of trips has increased as well. These increases, in combination with the types of cars that are being driven, are contributing heavily to the air pollution issue. A high percentage of cars in Dubai are over seven years old, which makes them more of a pollution issue than newer cars would be. Automobile pollution is not the only pollution issue in Dubai, however.
The growth of industry in Dubai is also a contributor to the air pollution problem. Industry brings with it pollution in the creation of electricity, refining oil and gas, manufacturing cement and other products, and more. The regulating of these industries is a two-edged sword that is often hard to deal with. The citizens need these industries to support the lives they have created, and by enacting regulations the cost of these services or items go up or they may not be available at all. This is a line that government agencies have to walk to keep their citizens happy and healthy.
The topic of Dubai and air pollution control is being explored in many ways. The Environmental Protection and Safety Section (EPSS) of the Dubai government began air monitoring in 1988 for basic air pollution programs and updated their monitoring programs in 1993 and 1994. Their programs have continued growing and expanding. The dissemination of knowledge to the citizens is a major part of their network and their motto of “Prevention is better than costly rehabilitation” shows their dedication to cleaning up their environment. From children’s programs to adult programs to business programs, the EPSS is working to help decrease the link between Dubai and air pollution.
Dubai’s air pollution issue is one that needs continued attention and action. By supporting their programs and spreading the word about their Dubai and air pollution, we can better aid them in making their country healthier for them and the world.


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