It exists here in the UAE, quite naturally in the larger cities--Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. One source, of course, is the wind blown sand. At times of the year this is more a problem and common occurance than at other times. But if the pollution in the skies were only that, then it would be a relatively minor problem. There would still be too many sun-drenched sparkling blue days.
The real sources of air-pollution in the UAE are mostly new and mostly in Dubai. As far as I can tell there are primarily two: all the construction, which kicks up a lot of dust, and the ever increasing traffic. Fortunately, it isn't the kind of pollution that leaves you covered with a thin film of black dirt like in some cities of the world. Hopefully, Dubai will never come to that!
But the poor quality of air is a tragedy in a real Dubai kind of way. For a city that is building so many tall and fancy towers, creating one of the most amazing skylines the world will probably see this century, what a tragedy that one may not even be able to make out the skyline except on exceptional days.
Never the pessimist when it comes to Dubai, however, I'm hopeful that car traffic will subside when the promised metros, trams and other forms of fancy transport get built. Cars too, I expect, will become cleaner and more efficient and more Dubai-ites will be able to afford them. The frantic pace of construction too will eventually subside--in five years if we're lucky, but more likely 10 or 15.
So, this worrying rise in the level of air-pollution could be temporary. In the meantime, I'll just have to savor the occassional clear, blue sunny days which were once taken for granted.
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