x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Heavy traffic in Dubai and Sharjah as fog blankets the UAE

No major accidents were reported but congestion was exacerbated by the conditions

Traffic is backing up during the early morning fog in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National.
Traffic is backing up during the early morning fog in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National.

As fog continues to plague the Emirates, Abu Dhabi police have urged motorists to pull over onto the side of the road until the fog lifts.

Brig Gen Khalifa Al Khyeeli, head of Abu Dhabi Traffic Police, said traffic may have flowed smoother this morning due to their directive on waiting out the fog. Their warning came after a horror 44-car crash outside Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

"Yesterday we advised motorists that in case of low visibility, to find the nearest station or stop on the side of the road until it lifts off, so they were following our safety instructions."

He also disclosed this message while appearing on the local news report Oloum Al Dar on Abu Dhabi TV.

"Now the traffic is back to normal, it is smooth and there were no crashes today," he added.

Heavy traffic clogged roads across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah on Wednesday as dense fog blanketed the country.

Fog hung particularly thick across Abu Dhabi as forecasters issued an orange alert to residents warning them to "be prepared".

Commuters heading to the capital from Dubai were faced with visibility as low as 100m at Ghantoot and then further towards the city.

A major accident near Dubai International Airport, on Al Ittihad Street, was reported at around 10am, causing significant congestion.

Dubai Police tweeted that driving at high speeds causes the most serious traffic accidents, advising motorists to “adhere to the legal speed limits”.

In Abu Dhabi, police posted an awareness video on its Twitter account warning drivers to double their safe distance between cars and abide by traffic laws.

However, Emirates flights were operating on schedule, according to the airline. A number of Etihad flights were delayed, but it's unclear if that could be attributed to the fog.

Meanwhile, tailbacks were reported from Sharjah’s Al Wahda Street, passing through Al Mamzar, to the area near Dubai International Airport.

Cars were barely moving at an average of 6kph on the D 74 – Al Ittihad road, according to the Waze app.

So too was the case in Deira, Port Saeed, 21C Street, Al Qudra Road and the area opposite United Hypermarket.

The fog was patchy on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Road, the main link between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but dense in parts. Police urged caution while driving in such conditions, after a 44-car crash on this road injured 22 people on Tuesday. Motorists were advised to drive with their low lights - or fog lights - on and to avoid using hazard lights unless in case of emergency.

Moderate congestion, where cars were moving slower than 20kph, was reported on many internal streets in Dubai, such as the D78 – Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, 4C Street, 8A Street, and on Al Muteena Street from the Marco Polo Hotel.

E11 Sheikh Zayed Road was also congested in parts.

Traffic was heavy in Abu Dhabi, with tailbacks reported on Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street near Rabdan Street and just after the tunnel.

Heavy traffic has also been reported on the E311 – Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Road, from Shawamekh to Al Mafraq, according to Waze.

Motorists were advised to avoid the E20 – Abu Dhabi – Swehan – Al Hiyar, to the roundabout that intersects with E311 and the E11 – Abu Dhabi Al Silaa Road.

The heavy fog formed overnight as humidity increased - a similar weather pattern is forecast on Wednesday night.

Conditions will go from being quite cool to fairly warm once it clears. Temperatures will range between 5°C and 27°C inland, 10°C to 26°C along the coast and 8°C to 18°C in the mountains.

Light to moderate winds and partly cloudy skies will result in an otherwise pleasant day.

Seas will be slight to moderate in the Arabian Gulf and Sea of Oman.