DUBAI // Drivers are being urged to exercise caution with foggy conditions forecast to persist today and tomorrow.
More than 140 accidents were reported in Dubai during fog early yesterday morning, while the low visibility caused traffic jams on major roads that took several hours to clear.
The National Centre for Meteorology & Seismology warned the conditions were set to continue and warned drivers - particularly those driving from the Northern Emirates to Abu Dhabi and vice versa - to be careful.
Visibility in Liwa was as low as 50 metres; in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi it was less than 100 metres and in Dubai it was 300 metres.
"The fog started forming over Sharjah and as we predicted it spread to the northern and eastern side of the UAE," a meteorologist said.
"We expect the fog to continue forming because of the humidity from the sea. This is the season of transition and the elements are forming a very wide area of high pressure over the Arabian Peninsula and the UAE. This combined with the humidity from the sea and the lower temperature at night is causing the fog."
One motorist travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi said he witnessed four accidents on the Sheikh Zayed Road, with two pile-ups involving three to four cars.
"This was all before Shahama, and in two cases the cars were badly damaged," said Fares Sumairi, who commutes daily between the two emirates.
"Traffic slowed down a little after people saw the accidents. People must drive much slower when the visibility is so poor."
Dubai police said that none of the 141 accidents reported involved any injuries, but they underlined the need for caution.
"One needs to be very careful when driving in such conditions and not speed or drive recklessly or with negligence," said Colonel Omar Al Shamsi, the director of the command and control centre.
He said motorists should ensure their windscreens were clean before driving during fog. They should also keep good lane discipline and change lanes only when absolutely necessary.
He said motorists should check their fog lights were working and keep them on at all times and hazard lights should only be used if an accident has occurred.