Air Quality

Good air quality is essential for the health and wellbeing of the population in Abu Dhabi Emirate and an intrinsic part of what makes it an attractive place to live and work. Therefore, for sustained growth in the emirate, it is crucial to maintain good quality air standards while pursuing economic development. Air pollution incurs costs associated with low employee productivity, health care, reduced agricultural yields, poor visibility that impacts transportation activities, and the cleanliness and maintenance requirements of infrastructure.

Current State

76 %

Percentage of time within national air quality limits in 2015

Drivers

Changes in air quality in Abu Dhabi Emirate are primarily brought about by population growth with a concomitant increase in demand for resources, as well as transport emissions.

Pressures

Emissions from industry and transport, as well as natural dust events, are a main cause of pressure on the quality of air in the emirate.

State

Pollutants of major concern in Abu Dhabi Emirate are particulate matter and ozone. Sulphur dioxide levels are within UAE limits in most of the ambient air quality monitoring network, although an increase in concentrations has been observed over the past few years in the Al Dhafra Region. Hydrogen sulphide concentrations are not at harmful levels to the public, but frequent episodes of odour nuisance due to hydrogen sulphide have been recorded. Levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are below the limits set in the UAE air quality standard.

Impacts

Air pollutants have a significant impact on human health in the emirate, as well as environmental, social and economic factors.

Responses

Efforts to improve air quality are cross-sectoral, and include monitoring, regulations, enforcement, environmental planning, research and awareness, leading to a healthier environment and better quality of life.

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