Here's why the Burj Khalifa switched off half its lights this week

Tourists and residents alike were left surprised by the darkness

Here's why the Burj Khalifa switched off half its lights this week

We're used to the Burj Khalifa being a shining beacon that's visible from almost anywhere in Downtown Dubai, but earlier this week half of the lights were switched off.

Tourists and residents alike were left surprised after the top of the world's tallest building went completely dark.

It was done as a symbolic gesture in support of the UN's HeForShe gender equality campaign, on the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

The contrast is a visual metaphor for what would happen if women and their contributions were excluded from society.

Dubai Media Office said: "In line with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak to empower women globally, the Burj Khalifa
turns half its lights off to symbolise the power lost when the world excludes women and girls as part of the HeForShe global initiative."

HeForShe invites people around the world to stand together to create a "bold force" for gender equality.

It's a hot topic here in Dubai, and last month for Emirati Women's Day the best female minds in the region were brought together to give talks at Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

A UAE champion weightlifter, an air traffic controller-come-pilot, a business mastermind and a “mumtrepreneur” celebrates the diverse contribution Emirati women have made in various fields.

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