Despite the numerous environment-related laws and national plans that have been passed to preserve and protect the environment, especially in major cities, pollution remains a major concern (50 per cent of the cases of bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and others are caused by environmental pollution). This situation is burdening the public treasury, which allocates hundreds of billions of dinars annually to treat these diseases and their economic and social side-effects.
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Air pollution issues are not new to the Emirates. The country was named “country with the world’s worst air” by the World Bank’s annual 2015 report on global environmental indicators, known as the “Little Green Data Book”. The UAE ranked even worse than China or India, two countries famous for their bad air pollution and that usually lead this negative “competition”. According to the World Bank’s report, the UAE’s air contained 80 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter at the time, which was slightly higher than China’s at 73 micrograms and almost three times India’s result, with 32 micrograms.