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The Dubai Ramadan Iftar Cannon Tradition explained
02 May 2019

The firing of a cannon to signal the end of the fast is a much-loved tradition associated with the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Ramadan Cannon at Madinat Jumeirah 3- Hero.jpg

During the Holy Month this year, which is expected to begin on Sunday 5 May, Dubai Police will once again place the iconic cannon on Fort Island at Madinat Jumeirah. Tourists and visitors can witness the time-honored Islamic cannon ritual every day throughout the Holy Month before Maghrib (sunset) prayers.


Before the age of clocks and smartphones, this was how residents were informed about iftar time and Dubai is continuing with the practice even in the age of modern technology. Some historians believe the custom dates back as far as 10th century Egypt, when one of the Fatimid caliphs ordered a cannon to be placed on Cairo's Muqatam Hill so all Muslims would hear the signal to break their fasts. The cannons have now become one of the local symbols of Ramadan, and tour companies are adding them to their tourist routes.


Under the responsibility of Dubai Police’s General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, each cannon is assigned four officers and is placed in six different locations across Dubai. The cannons used by Dubai Police were built in 1945, and have a sound range of 170 decibels which can be heard from 10km away.


Major-General Abdulla Ali Al Gaithi, head of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, explains: “It has been tradition since the 1960s to use cannons to announce Iftar every day [during Ramadan]. We fire around 200 cartridges across Dubai during Ramadan and Eid from the six cannons. Each cannon is fired twice in a row to announce Ramadan, once every day to announce Iftar and twice in a row to announce Eid and again twice in the morning of Eid, after Eid prayers.”


Andy Cuthbert, General Manager of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah -Conference & Events and Jumeirah Hospitality, said: “We are pleased to host a very special ritual related to the Holy Month of Ramadan at Madinat Jumeirah. This is the time of the year where friends and families come together on a daily basis to celebrate and we are excited to be part of the experience, both for our visitors who are celebrating Ramadan as well as tourists who wish to see the heartwarming traditions of the Holy month in Dubai.”


For more information on Jumeirah’s Ramadan offers, please visit: https://www.jumeirah.com/en/offers/ramadan-in-dubai/

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