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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Qatar residents urged to go dark to mark Earth Hour 2015 on Saturday

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Torch Doha
Torch Doha

Dozens of buildings in Doha are planning to go dark this Saturday, March 28, as hotels, businesses and organizations across Qatar turn off their lights to mark global Earth Hour.

The annual event, organized by environmental group WWF since 2007, encourages people to switch off their lights and reduce their energy consumption for 60 minutes to raise awareness of climate change.

Muhammad Waseem
Muhammad Waseem

This year, 162 countries and territories are expected to take part and will mark the occasion from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, local time.

In Doha, the Qatar Tourism Authority has been asking hotels to participate in the event this year as part of a push toward sustainable tourism. So far, about two dozen hotels have signed on, including La Cigale hotel in Al Sadd, which will be taking part for the first time.

During Earth Hour, the hotels are being encouraged to switch off all external lights, dim internal lights in public areas and to share a 10-second video of their “lights off” moment on social media.

Reducing consumption

The effort comes as Qatar grapples with significant energy use and a reputation as one of the least energy-efficient nations in the world.

Over the next three years, the Qatar General Electricity and Water Company (Kahramaa) aims to cut electricity usage per person by 9 percent – from 43 KWh/day currently to 39KWh/day by 2018.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

To help meet this goal, it has been conducting public awareness campaigns such as Tarsheed to encourage residents to be more mindful of their water and electricity consumption at home and at work.

Turning off the tap while brushing one’s teeth, for example, or switching off AC units when the room is not in use, are some ways people can do their part, Tarsheed literature states.

The government has also been working to phase out the sale of split air-conditioning units and tungsten lights in favor of more eco-friendly models.

Here is a run-down of what some hotels and organizations across Qatar have planned to mark Earth Hour:

The Torch Doha Hotel

The Torch, a 300m-high building near Villaggio Mall that is well-known for animated outside displays, will switch off all 3,780 of its LED lights, as well as all the outside lights on the building’s core, which should save around 200,000 watts of electricity.

Lighting in its public areas will be dimmed and dinner will be served by candlelight in its three restaurants.

Sheraton Hotel

Arguably the most recognized landmark on the West Bay skyline, this recently-refurbished hotel will serve dinner by candle light, and there will be an outdoor, candlelit yoga session.

Sheraton Doha
Sheraton Doha

Guests are encouraged to post videos of the “lights off” moment on social media with the hashtags #QatarEarthHour #YourPower and #SheratonDoha.

Grand Hyatt Hotel

All exterior lights at the Grand Hyatt will be switched off for the hour, and interior and exterior lights at the staff accommodation will also be turned off.

Guests will be encouraged to dim or turn off the lights in their rooms, and lighting in all public areas will be dimmed.

Intercontinental and Intercontinental Doha – The City hotels

Dinner will be served by candlelight at both the Intercon and the Intercon Doha. Indoor lighting will be dimmed or switched off where possible, and the outside of the hotels will go dark for the hour.

The Intercon’s illuminated, musical fountain at its entrance will also be switched off during Earth Hour, a spokesperson told Doha News.

Marsa Malaz Kempinksi Hotel and Kempinski Residences & Suites

The only hotel on The Pearl, the recently-opened Marsa Malaz Kempinski, along with Kempinksi Residences in Dafna West Bay, will switch off all its outdoor lights, including its logo, and dim or switch off all indoor lights for the hour, using candles to illuminate its restaurants, lounges and lobby.

The Pearl-Qatar

Earth Hour at The Pearl-Qatar
Earth Hour at The Pearl-Qatar

Shops, restaurants and businesses on The Pearl-Qatar will be encouraged to go dark at 8:30pm to recognize Earth Hour, while the event’s logo “60+” will be created using solar-powered lights on the Porto Arabia boardwalk.

There will also be a tree-planting event on the island’s Grand Park.

Do you plan to switch off your lights for Earth Hour? Thoughts?

21 COMMENTS

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Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

all token gestures in a society which is one of the most wasteful on the planet – one dark evening does not make any impact unless followed up with meaningful actions which there is little political will to follow through

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

using candles for an hour ! that are imported and have a bigger carbon footprint than turning on a light switch – laughable

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

All this depends on both the type of candle (typical candles are made from paraffin, a crude oil refinery byproduct or beeswax or soy) and the way your electricity is generated, but broadly speaking:
Using candles to produce the same amount of light as the bulbs you have switched off – your carbon footprint will increase.
Using a single candle to cast a small amount of light in place of a typical incandescent bulb – your carbon footprint will decrease.
Using a single candle in place of a energy efficient (CFL) bulb – that’s where it’s tricky.

Overall Earth Hour does reduce energy consumption, and it raises awareness. And that’s got to be a good thing.

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Nicely put.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

It isn’t about the energy saved, it’s about raising awareness. If it gets a few people thinking about their consumption and making small changes to their lifestyle then it’s a success.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

On that note, any idea where to pick up good bright LED’s from recognized name brands?

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

LEDs don’t have to be good brands to be efficient. Best is make your own design by assembling a number of LEDs with a simple circuitry can be found in internet. But if you want something readymade, Phillips makes some reasonably priced yet nice stuff such as non-glare LED, RGB mood lighting etc. You can find some in superstores such as Carrefour / Lulu / Ikea. I once saw a nice little specialized store in Muntazah area.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

Thanks. Any idea what the name of the specialized store in Muntazah is or any nearby landmarks?

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Had I remember it, I would have mentioned it already. It’s on the B ring road between Jaidah flyover and QP building and on your right while driving away from Jaidah. But it’s so small that I wouldn’t have seen it if not stuck in traffic. I’m sure there are others like that in the city.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Haha, the highest producer of co2 per capita will make a token effort to support environmental policies…. I nearly fell out of my land crusier at the hypocrisy…..

Michkey
Michkey
6 years ago

Listened all of it…meh! Guys who attack his opposition more than building logic to back up his theory don’t sound trustworthy to me. Also, many of his logic sounded flawed. “CO2 is important for the ecosystem, nature will balance it by growing/killing trees” true, but does not mention how that balance is skewed by human intervention and so on.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You shouldn’t read while you’re driving.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

You’re right, it interfers with my smoking and eating my shwarma.

Ali
Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Who would’ve thought I’d agree with you, but yea you are right.

Dan
Dan
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Consumer of co2 products per capita would be VERY different.

Shabzed
Shabzed
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Then you should see this as well

BillyBob
BillyBob
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hater

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Wish it was a sustained drive through out the year – Qatar unfortunately has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the World 🙁

Cut of free electricity and water to nationals would be a start – Give them lot more fuloos instead as compensation :-), most of them grumble (jokingly) when I tell them this but it is fact – there is no incentive to save electricity and water when it is free!!!! Gas Qatar has plenty, so electricity not so much an issue but water – zero resources.

katrina
katrina
6 years ago

This is a good practice to raise awareness of climate change. We can start by practising to save electricity and water when not in use. Let us all learn to take good care of our environment/mother nature for the future of the next generation.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

I think raising awareness campaigns for well known issues are useless without a follow up action. Turning off the lights for a night, people are “aware” for one or two days then go back to normal. How about they use profits from a percentage of that nights hotel dinners for an “earth worthy” cause?

It always amuses me when I see a hotel note about helping the environment by opting to wash the towels and linens less frequently when really they just want to save money. Most hotels will ignore the environmental issues that cost them money then preach about saving the environment. I would much rather see a sign that says “Infrequent washing of linens saves us money and therefore saves you money and it’s good for the environment”.

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