‘Ramadan rush hour’, the period between 4pm and 7pm, is described as being the most dangerous time for drivers during the holy month, as people rush to get to where they are breaking their fast.
Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Dubai Traffic Police, said people should avoid using the roads in the three hour window during Ramadan as people tend to drive aggressively.
As part of their annual campaign, Dubai Traffic Police will increase their patrols on the roads in an effort to prevent accidents on the roads.
Last year’s efforts successfully brought down the total number of accidents on the emirate’s roads during Ramadan, but there was an increase in fatalities.
A total of 15 people were killed in crashes last year in Dubai, up from 11 the previous year.
“The top cause of accidents in Ramadan remains crashing into a vehicle from behind,” Col Saif Al Mazrouei told The National newspaper.
In total, there were 166 accidents involving 203 vehicles, resulting in injuries to 156 people. Between 4pm and 7pm, there were 28 accidents.
During 2012, there were 190 accidents involving 360 vehicles during Ramadan, resulting in 185 people being injured. In the hours between 4pm and 7pm, there were 40 accidents.
The number of traffic offences during the month increased from 38,448 in 2012 to 48,903 in 2013 and Col Al Mazrouei warned that there would be no leniency shown during Ramadan.
“A violation remains a violation, and there are no instructions otherwise,” he was quoted as saying.
“Even those who are parked near or around mosques need to make sure that they are parked in a way that is not blocking traffic or blocking other vehicles, or else the cars will be towed away.
“People cannot use the excuse of prayer to violate laws.”
The month of Ramadan will also see Dubai Police distribute 1,200 iftar meals a day in the Deira and Bur Dubai areas of the city, as part of their efforts to reduce accidents.
The UAE on Sunday announced the working hours for employees at various ministries and other federal institutions will be from 9am to 2pm during Ramadan.
The hours of work for the holy month was revealed in a circular issued by Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qattami, Minister of Education, in his capacity as chairman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAGHR).
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will start on Sunday June 29. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is based on moon sightings.
It is when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset; fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Non-Muslims also must refrain from eating and drinking in public.
The Sharjah Planetarium said it expects Eid – the end of Ramadan – to begin on July 28.