The civic body announced that it aims to make Dubai green by 2020 by turning four per cent of the city into parks and having a quarter of the emirate filled with nurseries and cultivated land.
“By conserving arid lands and expanding our green spaces, as well as nurturing an individual culture to plant trees, we can protect essential water supplies and preserve our next generation from drying up,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director- general of Dubai Municipality.
As part of the municipality’s efforts to make a green city, Taleb Abdul Kareem Julfar, director of the Public Parks and Horticulture Department at Dubai Municipality, explained that by 2020, nearly 380 square kilometers of the emirate will be used for cultivation purposes.
“So far we have achieved 5.09 per cent of our target, and the municipality is keen on adopting a number of strategies, implementing projects and raising public awareness for this cause,” he said.
Julfar added that the civic body intends to make four per cent of the city filled with parks, out of which 0.49 per cent has been achieved.
“We are now concentrating on the concept of ‘Greenification’, and this can be clearly seen all around us. In 2003, Dubai only had 191,655 square meters of greenery with 63,237 trees, but by 2012 we saw the results of our efforts and have increased the green spaces to 105,340 trees that covers an area of 529,827,” he said.
He noted that the target of green space per capita by 2020 is 25 square meters, and emphasized that in 2013, half of that target has already been achieved.
Part of the department’s strategies include planting trees along busy highways and in wildlife sanctuaries, with Julfar pointing out that the municipality’s nurseries have increased the number of plants they grow from 19.887 million in 2003 to 34.127 million in 2012.
Apart from date palms and ghaf trees, municipal nurseries also grow various trees such as the mangrove, ashraq, markh, and wild fig.
Most of the trees planted along the roads in Nad Al Sheba, Al Ain Road, Al Aweer Road and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (previously known as Emirates Road), consist of date palms, ghafs and damas trees, in addition to other types of shrubs — covering a stretch of 168 kilometres.