Understanding the Tradition of Ramadan Iftar Cannons in Dubai

The tradition of using cannons to announce Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan is deeply ingrained in Dubai’s cultural heritage, dating back to the 1960s. Under the auspices of the Dubai Police’s General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, this time-honored ritual continues to be upheld with reverence and precision.

Dubai Police’s General Department of Protective Security and Emergency oversees the operation of six cannons strategically positioned across Dubai. Each cannon is meticulously manned by four officers and serves as a symbol of unity and community during the sacred month of Ramadan.

Dating back to 1945, these historic cannons possess a formidable sound range of 170 decibels, ensuring their unmistakable resonance can be heard up to 10 kilometers away. Major-General Abdulla Ali Al Gaithi, head of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, underscores the significance of this tradition, emphasizing that approximately 200 cartridges are fired across Dubai during Ramadan and Eid festivities.

The firing of the cannons follows a structured cadence, with each cannon discharged twice in succession to mark significant moments throughout Ramadan and Eid. These include announcements for the commencement of Ramadan, the daily breaking of the fast (Iftar), the celebration of Eid, and the culmination of Eid prayers. This rhythmic display serves as a poignant reminder of the spiritual significance of these occasions and unites communities in shared observance.

Acknowledging the cultural significance of this tradition, Andy Cuthbert, General Manager of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, expresses delight in hosting this cherished ritual at Madinat Jumeirah. As families and friends gather to partake in Iftar celebrations, the resonance of the cannon serves as a poignant reminder of the cherished traditions and values upheld during Ramadan.

For visitors and tourists alike, witnessing the firing of the Ramadan Iftar cannons offers a glimpse into Dubai’s rich cultural tapestry and reinforces the city’s reputation as a melting pot of tradition and modernity. As Dubai embraces its diverse population and celebrates the spirit of inclusivity, the Ramadan Iftar cannon ritual stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of unity and reverence that defines the holy month in the emirate.