With our roads free of traffic, the air quality in the UAE has improved dramatically over the past eight weeks.

Not only has the National Sterlisation Programme helped to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the UAE, it has also had a positive effect on the health of the country.

With schools closed and many UAE workers instructed to work from home since late March, there’s been a huge decrease in the number of vehicles on the road. As a result, there’s been a significant drop in dangerous nitrogen dioxide levels.

Measurements of nitrogen dioxide at key sites in Abu Dhabi shows that levels have fallen by as much as 78 per cent in the capital, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi reported on Instagram:

@environmentabudhabi observes continued improvement of air quality in #AbuDhabi. Levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) dropped by 62% over 8 weeks due to efforts made to control human & traffic movement, as part of the precautionary measures to combat Covid-19⁣.⁣
“Testing in #AbuDhabi over the 8-week period revealed a 57% reduction of NO2 in Hamdan Street, 78% in Al Maqta and 70% in Khalifa City.”


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“Spanning a period of eight weeks, we have been monitoring air quality in Abu Dhabi and noticed a significant decrease in air pollutants which implies that limiting traffic movement has had an extremely positive effect on the environment,” said Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, secretary general of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.

“This trend is in line with the global improvement in air quality in several of the major cities of the world that have imposed strict regulations on movement to encourage social distancing and save lives,” said Ms Al Dhaheri.

While we’ve been staying in over the past two months, Mother Nature has had a chance to recuperate. Across the UAE, we’ve seen rays swimming in Dubai Marina, dolphins frolicking in front of Palm Jumeirah, and turtles returning to the shores Sharjah.