The last week of December 2023 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was characterized by dense fog across the nation-particularly in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Al-Ain-significantly impacting visibility and prompting cautionary measures from authorities. Red alert and reduced visibility warnings were issued by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) as thick fog engulfed regions, causing horizontal visibility to plummet to dangerously low levels.

Compared to that, there’s a general decrease in the probability of fog formation across the UAE. However, internal and coastal areas, particularly in the western regions, are predicted to have the highest chance of seeing fog. On Tuesday (16 January), the National Centre of Meteorology issued a weather warning for dense fog during the morning hours in Abu Dhabi.

Recent Developments and Authorities’ Announcements:

  • The Abu Dhabi Police issued special notice for the fog to warn motorist to exercise caution due to poor visibility and to adhere to the speed limits displayed on the electronic information boards on the road.
  • The speed limit has been reduced to 80 kph on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed International Road – on the stretch between Abu Dhabi Industrial City, better known as Icad, and Al Arysm Bridge.
  • The National Centre of Meteorology reported bouts of fog over Abu Dhabi island, Yas Island, Saadiyat Island and Sheikh Khalifa Street, towards Al Jubail Island, the Corniche and Al Bateen Airport.
  • Temperatures are predicted to decrease gradually throughout the day, dropping to 16 degrees Celsius in Abu Dhabi and 18 degrees Celsius in Dubai. The maximum temperature in both emirates is expected to be 29 degrees Celsius.

Impacted Regions:


Impact Analysis:

  • Reduced visibility due to heavy fog can make it dangerous to drive, fly, or sail. This can lead to delays, and cancellations in essential travel services.
  • The costs of transportation, especially those involved in trading services, can increase due to fog, as drivers may need to take longer routes or use alternative modes of transport.
  • Fog can also increase the risk of accidents due to reduced visibility.
  • Fog mixed with pollution can exacerbate respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is because fog can trap air pollutants and allergens, resulting in lungs irritation.
  • Disruptions in supply chain operations can be expected due to travel delays, and increase cost of transportation during severe fog.
Dense fog

Recommendations if caught in Fog:

  • Prohibit outdoor burning activities, such as open fires, campfires, and controlled burns to prevent or exacerbate the ‘super fog’ situation.
  • Slow down, allow extra time to reach a destination, and ensure vehicle onroad visibility by using low-beam headlights and tail lights.
  • Do not use high-beam headlights, as the glare impacts forward visibility.
  • Maintain adequate distance while driving and closely follow the lines of the road.
  • In cases of extremely dense fog, where visibility is near zero, it is advised to turn on hazard lights, pull off the road and stop in a safe location.
  • Share GPS coordinates with friends, family and emergency services if stranded in a dense fog situation.
  • Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle, including items like water, nonperishable snacks, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, and warm clothing.
  • Advised to monitor weather updates and fog warnings via the National Centre of Meteorology website (https://www.ncm.ae/) or the X (formerly Twitter) account at: @ncmuae
  • Follow the guidance and instructions from local authorities, including law enforcement and the Department of Transportation via the website of Abu Dhabi Police (https://es.adpolice.gov.ae/) and Dubai Police (https://www.dubaipolice.gov.ae/), for the most up-to-date information on road conditions and safety.
  • It is also advised to download the country’s emergency mobile applications. In Abu Dhabi, AD999 App comes handy, while in rest of the country SOSAD999 App is more useful. These apps allows one to make calls to emergency services directly, report crimes, and track accidents.
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Emergency Contact Numbers:

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