Dubai has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last two decades. It has managed to diversify its economy from fishing, pearl diving, and gold trading into one of the world’s leading cities for tourism, shipping, and finance. The rapid progress and urbanization occurring at an unprecedented scale resulted in various environmental challenges - one of which is the quality of air. Dubai Municipality operates an Air Quality Monitoring Network (AQMN) comprised of ground stations providing continuous real-time air quality monitoring to track criteria air pollutants - carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and particulate matter. Additionally, odorous gases are monitored particularly at areas in close proximity to odor-generating facilities. Meteorological parameters, such as wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity are also monitored in order to aid identification of the origin of these air pollutants within areas of high traffic, industrial, commercial and densely populated areas. The stations are strategically located, based on comprehensive modeling studies, to monitor pollutants within areas of dense population, and high traffic, industrial and commercial activities. Based on the location, the stations are categorized as urban, industrial, traffic and rural. Data from monitoring stations are transmitted to a central database for processing and analysis. The air quality and odor monitoring network has received the 2019 Green Apple Environmental award for Environmental Best Practice.
The quality assurance procedure for the monitoring stations is in accordance with the USEPA Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems. The monitoring stations are, additionally, certified to comply with the latest European Standards. A high-quality policy is adopted to ensure that ambient air quality monitoring results attain high degree of accuracy and precision. The stations are supported with the most advanced software and telemetry technology in order to ensure a high quality of captured data and seamless data transfer to the database. Timely inspections, calibrations and maintenance of the equipment are undertaken. Dubai is a dynamic city embracing a rapid growth in urban developments which are expected to continue in the coming years. As a result, an expansion plan for the monitoring network is in progress with the aim to cover the new built areas in the Emirate requiring continuous air quality monitoring. It is also planned to continuously upgrade the technology of the existing stations to ensure accuracy of the captured data.