Abu Dhabi announces "Dark Sky" policy aimed at combating light pollution

Omar Abbas - | Mix

The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport has unveiled a fresh environmental directive titled the "Abu Dhabi Dark Skies General Policy," with the objective of safeguarding Abu Dhabi's nighttime scenery while advancing a sustainable outlook for its populace.

Raising awareness and implementing solutions

The department is spearheading an extensive awareness drive under the slogan "The allure of Abu Dhabi lies in its magnificent skies." Its primary aim is to educate both residents and visitors about the imperative of safeguarding Abu Dhabi's nighttime panorama. Aligned with the global efforts of the International Dark Sky Association, the department seeks to counteract the adverse effects of light and visual pollution by promoting sustainable lighting technology through this policy.

The objectives of the new policy are multifaceted, aiming to encourage the adoption of sustainable lighting systems, protect the natural environment and wildlife, support astronomical research, enhance public health, and bolster sustainable development initiatives. Implementation strategies include measures such as regulating lighting in public spaces, activating motion sensor-based security lighting, and imposing a curfew on non-essential lighting from midnight onwards.

All stakeholders are granted a specific timeframe to adjust to the new policy requirements. Exceptions are made for temporary lighting during events like festivals and celebrations.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport's commitment to maintaining the highest standards to improve Abu Dhabi's quality of life is demonstrated by the introduction of the general policy for dark skies. The department's goal is to create sustainable standards that protect natural ecosystems, improve the visual appeal of the city, and guarantee the transparency of the sky while putting citizens' health and safety first.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport's Director General of Operations Affairs, Dr. Salem Al Kaabi, highlights how the dark sky policy demonstrates societal commitment. In line with international environmental programs, he sees a time when everyone in society can appreciate the grandeur of the night sky.

Al Kaabi emphasizes that the strategy provides a thorough foundation for conscientious urban development. It raises awareness of how crucial it is to use sustainable lighting solutions in order to maintain the unspoiled splendor of the night sky. The policy's requirements encompass a wide range of situations and include the public and private sectors, new and old lighting installations, and interior lighting that spills outside and causes light pollution.

Guiding Principles and Monitoring Mechanisms

Guidelines such as the Abu Dhabi Lighting Handbook and design guides for architectural and commercial facades complement the policy's objectives. Additionally, the Sustainability System evaluates public spaces, while mechanisms for monitoring light pollution educate the public on its mitigation, emphasizing the imperative of safeguarding Abu Dhabi's skies for future generations.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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