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11 December 2023

UAE holiday weather forecast: Fog finally gives way to sunshine, but just in case...

By Sneha May Francis & Majorie van Leijen

The long weekend in the UAE will not be as foggy as first feared.

The heavy fog that had enveloped the country for most of the past week had already begun to dissipate this morning.

The National Centre for Meterology and Seismology (NCMS) has forecast the fog moving out, making way for fair weather in general, with mild temperatures during the daytime.

Fair weather will persist in general on Friday and Saturday (Jan 25-26), with the sea forecast to be slight to moderate.

The nights will continue to remain cold however, with no change in the lowest forecast minimum temperature – still at 5 deg C.

Day temperatures will not rise past 25 deg C.

The NCMS has still maintained that there is a chance of mist/fog over some areas.

So keep the following points, courtesy Dubai Traffic Police and a road and safety expert.

How to drive in fog

Keep a safe distance

Motorists are advised to maintain a more than normal distance between their vehicle and those of others, advises the Traffic Department.

“Keep your minimum safety gap to three seconds in ideal conditions; with the decreased visibility fog causes, this interval should be increased substantially,”Hussam al Abed, Advisor at Security and Financial Crime Risk Management (SFCRM) adds to that.

Reduce speed

Motorists should reduce their speed considerably. Fog creates the illusion of driving slow while you may actually be speeding, points out the online Weather Channel.

According to Hussam, most fog-related traffic fatalities occur because someone was driving too fast and couldn't stop in time to avoid a collision.

“You should be able to stop within the distance you can see clearly. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways, as vehicles are travelling faster,” he adds.

He further advises not to accelerate to get away from a vehicle that is too close behind you, to check your mirrors before you slow down and to keep a close watch and the speedometer.

Increase visibility

“Drive with low lights on and use wipers to increase your own visibility,” the Traffic Department advises.

“High beams direct light up into the fog making it difficult for you to see. Low beams direct light down onto the road and help other drivers to see you,” clarifies Hussam.

“Familiarize yourself with your front and rear fog lights – know how to switch them on and off – and use them when appropriate.

“Beware of other drivers not using headlights,” he adds.

Listen to the traffic

As visibility may significantly be decreased, it is advised motorists drive with their window open.

“Travel with the driver’s window partially open and listen for traffic,” says Hussam.

“At a junction with limited visibility, stop, wind down the window, and listen for traffic. When you are sure it is safe to emerge, do so positively and do not hesitate in a position that puts you directly in the path of approaching vehicles.”


Reconsider your commute

Motorists are advised not to drive at all in extreme fog, the Traffic Department indicated.

“Especially in the morning when the sun has not yet come up it is dangerous to drive. Long distances should be avoided and in case of extreme fog it is better to stop driving, is the advice.

Also see: 

Readers' gallery: Thick fog blankets UAE