By Nivriti Butalia and Silvia Radan www.khaleejtimes.com
It’s 7.30pm at Burj Plaza, one hour before the UAE flicks off its lights to honour the environment and partake in global Earth Hour, and it’s bright — really bright.
“There’s too much light here,” says a woman named Shiraz, who is walking through the plaza with her teenage daughter, completely oblivious to the fact Earth Hour is about to strike in an hour’s time.
LED lights scatter the area, while the stage which is playing host to a number of musicians, is lit up intensely. But this is not the point.
Because as Earth Hour hit at 8.30pm, large tracts of the Emirates were awash with the glow of candlelight. Government organisations, business residences, corporations, hotels and households switched off excess power for the duration of an hour in a show of solidarity for the sake of the planet.
In the lead up to the hour of darkness, more than 1,000 votive candles showing “Earth 60+ Dubai 2013” lit up the Burj Plaza floor. Splashy and Sparky, cartoonesque mascots, regaled the hundreds of children present at the event with their families.