Earth Hour is the largest global action against climate change where people are encouraged to go powerless for one hour and live by candlelight. The initiative started in 2008 in Sydney, when 2 million people in one city switched off their lights.
Saudi Arabia first joined Earth Hour in 2010. In 2011 the two largest Skyscrapers of the country, Al-Faisalyah & the Kingdom towers switched off, as well as the famous hotels Jeddah Rosewood, Sheraton and Hilton. Medical sector, IT companies, retail stores , telecom carriers took part and Universities like King Saud University, King Faisal University and Tabuk University also took part in the global initiative.
This year Rosewood Hotels is again taking part in the global event by inviting guests to dine by candlelight in their restaurants and to dimming non essential lights in their suites.
IKEA joins the cause for the third successive year by shutting down non essential lights in showrooms in Saudi Arabia.
Restaurant chain Al Baik is switching off non essential lights in its 47 restaurants for one hour over three days. For 2013, Al Baik partners with UTurn Productions to send the message across YouTube with a competition calling on everyone to share pictures of how they switched off the lights for Earth Hour. People can vote online for their favourite photos and the winners will win an eco trip to Jeddah with the choice of going on a diving trip or a camping trip with a friend to one of the natural wonders of the region.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is also supporting Earth Hour by switching off non-essential lighting in its 82 properties across the world, for one hour at 8.30 pm local time. The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh has been busy preparing by filling 6,000 paper bags with sand, to hold the thousands of candles that will be displayed throughout the grand palace hotel, in replacement of the lighting.