Abu Dhabi has expanded a programme aimed at improving air quality in the emirate.

Experts from Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) have joined the World Health Organisation’s Global Air Pollution and Health Technical Advisory Group.

They now sit on two working groups – one focused on dust, sand and health and the other on policy interventions.

It is hoped the knowledge gained in the groups can help the emirate continue recent strides made to improve air quality.In the past year, our air quality on 83 per cent of the days had good or moderate air qualityRuqaya Mohamed, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi

Air quality is not only affected by pollutants, but also by ozone, dust and sand, which can pick up and carry other contaminants on the way.

A network of 22 air monitors across the emirate, 20 of which are fixed while two are mobile, assess what is coming from where to help regulate it.

“In the past year, our air quality on 83 per cent of the days had good or moderate air quality, which is green and yellow and relatively healthy for the general population,” Ruqaya Mohamed, section manager, air quality, noise and climate change at EAD told The National.

“Of course, we have those days where we have peaks of dust and also sometimes ozone. These two particular pollutants are largely affected by the regional climate and natural sources.”

The emirate’s air monitors track 14 pollutants to check how healthy or unhealthy the air is.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Mini Atlantis, and the Presidential Palace view on a clear day from the Arabian Gulf. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
View of the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi on a clear day. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

That data is then fed into a publicly available Abu Dhabi air quality dashboard where people can see for themselves if it is safe to spend time outdoors.

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