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300 volunteers join Volkswagen, Siemens and Rotana for 'Clean the Beach' campaign 2013

A team of 300 volunteers descended on Dubai's last remaining natural beach and protected marine reserve on Saturday (23rd February), to remove litter and algae pollution as part of the 'Clean the Beach' campaign which aims to raise environmental awareness in the Middle East.

Volkswagen, Siemens and Rotana are building on the environmental drive following last year's 'Clean the Beach' and 'Clean the Desert' initiatives, which aim to educate and raise public awareness of the need to protect the Middle East's many and varied habitats and the wildlife that depend on them. 

Saturday's 'Clean the Beach' effort saw volunteers from Dubai and Abu Dhabi take to Emirates Marine Environmental Group's marine reserve to collect rubbish from the beach and clear lagoons polluted by algae. The collected litter will be recycled by EMEG.

As an important nesting area for turtles, the beach is home to a wide variety of marine and land-based wildlife and is managed by EMEG to protect endangered species and conserve the fragile ecosystem for future generations. 

Thomas Milz, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East, said, "Collecting 1.5tonnes of litter in one day is a fantastic result for this 'Clean the Beach' event and the local marine and wildlife. We launched this initiative with our partners last year and to see even more volunteer support and enthusiasm is an extremely positive sign. If we wish to continue to enjoy unpolluted and thriving beach and desert life then it is down to everyone to play their part."

"'Clean the Beach', like 'Clean the Desert', forms part of our 'Think Blue' campaign which encourages people to take small initiatives in everyday life to reduce the impact of their lives on the environment. 'Think Blue' focuses on the wider environmental responsibility of Volkswagen Middle East too, and we hope to ensure that the momentum gathered during the campaign continues long after it's finished."

Kay Zwingenberger, CEO of Siemens LLC in the UAE, said, "The protection of our environment is not something we can afford to disregard, either as individuals or organizations. Siemens has been working in the Middle East for more than 150 years, and we have a responsibility to help raise awareness of the importance of caring for the region's unique landscapes and habitats for future generations." 

"Sustainability is a core principle of Siemens and teaming up with like-minded partners for campaigns like Clean the Beach is an excellent way to achieve greater environmental awareness through the involvement of the communities we serve," kay added.

Thomas Tapken, Area Vice President, Rotana Dubai & Northern Emirates said, "We're extremely heartened to see the enthusiasm for 'Clean the Beach' and we're delighted to be supporting such an important cause. Rotana takes its corporate social responsibility very seriously and we realise that raising awareness of the need to protect the environment that's supporting us all, is an absolute priority."

Major Ali Saqar Al Suwaidi, President of EMEG, commented, "This is a great way to involve companies in the environment and it is good because it raises awareness among their employees which is so important for the care of the UAE's wildlife."

Thomas Milz concluded, "Our aim is to build on the success of last year's inaugural initiative which was a great success, and I'd like to thank our partners Siemens and Rotana for the invaluable support they have given the campaign. Keep an eye on the Volkswagen Middle East Facebook page for more details on what we have going on across the region."

Alongside Volkswagen, Siemens and Rotana, also contributing to the event's success were EMEG and Expat Aktuell.

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