The firing of a cannon to signal the end of the fast is a convention long-associated with the Holy Month of Ramadan, and Madinat Jumeirah in collaboration with Dubai Police are keeping this tradition alive.

For Ramadan 2018, Dubai Police is placing the iconic cannon on Fort Island at Madinat Jumeirah, giving tourists and visitors the chance to witness the traditional Islamic cannon ritual go off before Maghrib (sunset) prayers, announcing the end of the fasting period.

Under the responsibility of Dubai Police’s Weapons and Ammunition Department of the General Department of Services and Supplies, each cannon is assigned four officers and is placed in five different locations across Dubai.

"Firing the Ramadan Cannon is an old and endearing tradition that takes us back to the early days when the Emirate of Dubai was formed. The Cannon launch team still wears the same uniform that was worn by the first Dubai Police Cannon launch squad decades ago, in a bid to preserve and honor those memories and celebrate the joy the holy month brings to the residents and visitors of Dubai”, said Captain Abdullah Taresh Al Omaimi, Commander of the Cannon Launch Team, from the General Directorate for Security of Bodies, Establishments and Emergency.
 
Lieutenant-Colonel Abdullah Mubarak Bin Mosabah, head of the Weapons and Ammunition Department at Dubai Police, also commented: “Since the 1960’s, Dubai has been accustomed to hearing the sound of the Ramadan cannon during the holy month of Ramadan, marking the end of the fasting time and the start of Iftar.  We fire around 180 bullets across Dubai during Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr. In the beginning, two bullets are fired to celebrate the start of the Holy month of Ramadan, and a bullet daily to announce the Iftar timing, and two bullets to celebrate Eid right in the morning after Eid prayers.”

Andy Cuthbert, General Manager of Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Conference & Events and Jumeirah Hospitality commented: “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 this month and we are excited to be part of the experience of our visitors who are celebrating Ramadan as well as tourists who wish to experience the heartwarming traditions of Ramadan in Dubai.”

Before the age of clocks and watches, this was how residents were informed about Iftar time and Dubai is continuing with the practice even in the age of televisions and smart devices.

Some historians believe that the custom dates back to 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 and the cannons have now become one of the local symbols of Ramadan, and tour companies are adding them to their tourist routes.

 

Source: ASDA´A Burson-Marsteller