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Sun 12 Jul 2015 04:43 PM

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UAE questions damning World Bank report into air quality

Little Green Data Book claims the UAE has more pollutants per cubic metre than China and more than double that of India

UAE questions damning World Bank report into air quality
A Dubai metro train is seen driving amid a sandstorm that engulfed the city. (Getty Images)

The Ministry of Environment and Water has said his department is in contact with the World Bank over its report that said the UAE has the worst air pollution in the world.

The recently-published World Bank’s The Little Green Data Book said the UAE had a rating of 80 micrograms of pollutants per cubic metre - higher than China (73) and more than double that of India (32).

The report was also at odds with data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which said the UAE has worked on improving the quality of air in the country.

Fahed Hareb, director of air quality at the ministry, said he didn’t understand where the World Bank was getting its data from.

“The data we measure doesn’t even reach half of what they are talking about,” Hareb told The National newspaper.

“There’s no mention of where they get their information. They never contacted us for data so those models can be based on anything. It’s like saying, ‘I think the population of India is 30 million because I heard it somewhere’. We’re in contact with them to try to understand where they got this information.”

With 46 air quality stations in the country, the UAE has a target of 90 percent adherence to the WHO air quality guidelines by 2021.

Glenn Jacobson 4 years ago

Fahed Hareb-
When was the last time you saw a clear blue sky in the UAE.
Probably months ago , as i recall.
Next time when you fly out of the UAE , as soon as you ascend to 8000 feet, you will pass a layer of dust in the atmosphere and then you will see the blue sky
That layer- Mr. Hareb is what these specialists are talking about and it represents air pollutants .
Hope that helps you

George Philip 4 years ago

I would question the source of the reports which World Bank has, for making such a report. Such reports have to be officially taken from the country , source acknowledged, and after collaborating with the concerned ministry. From a technical point of view, there are also more rational methods to collect air quality data, ( not just from stationary air stations, but from sensors placed in public transportation buses and metro trains which give more realistic data. Of course the methods of measurement has to be the same globally to get accurate comparisons.

aleya miguel 4 years ago

Yes, the air over the city really looks bad when I last looked out the airplane window on a daytime ascend. Something should be done to cut this out or reduce it.

james 4 years ago

Phew....guys with working cameras during a sand storm. Sahara desert is not the other name for UAE. Do they want UAE to filter the storm as it blows across Sahara? This is mere hype not information. It requires no school to learn about deserts.

WHJ 4 years ago

"Effectus sequitir causam", that's Latin for "everything has an underlying reason"....especially disinformation.
Really? Even more than China?!
I think the World Bank would be well advised to stick to finance

MT3 4 years ago

Is this based upon the average amount of polutants that a citizen of that nation is exposed to or a simple average amount of polutants in the air across the entire country. If the latter it would be more useful to compare city-to-city; India and China have an awful lot of uninhabitted landmass that would reduce their overall averages substantially.

Buddy 4 years ago

What surprises me while living in this country is that almost every report coming out that is negative, is marked as incorrect. Instead, reports should be used to learn and find ways to improve and apply improvements.

WHJ 4 years ago

Well, when a report such as this which does not mention where it gets its information from while making dubious claims that defy well established facts, then it should not be surprising if it were deemed incorrect.