Monday, July 30, 2012

Boom, Goes the Dynamite: the Burj Park Cannon

There are a lot of human conventions to mark the passage of time. We ring bells, set alarms, check our watches, heck we might even have a coo-coo clock, marking the hour with a deafening and quite terrifying cannon shot wasn’t one that was prepared for. When I first heard it a week ago – I almost instantly hit the deck, bit my tongue and felt adrenaline pump through my veins. It sounded a lot like a bomb, and I momentarily got a little nervous (honey - grab the passports and cash from the safe…).
As it turns out, we weren’t too far off. It was a bomb of sorts, a cannon in fact, and seeing how it was set off just a stone’s throw from our apartment it was no wonder that the glasses were clinking in the china cabinet. Why on earth would they be firing a cannon in Burj Park?

 Some recent snaps from the balcony of the Arabian sunset.
Well apparently it is one of the most convenient ways to alert the city that the sun has set and it is time to break the Ramadan fast at iftar.

According to Major Abdullah Mubarak Bin Misbah, head of weapons in the public administration services and equipment department at Dubai Police, “Since the early 60s, the firing of the cannon was entrusted to Dubai Police to mark the end of the fast at sunset.  The first military cannons, which were made by the British, are still in our possession and are regularly maintained so that we can keep the memory of its significance and its beauty alive.”

As part of the authority’s capacity in keeping the tradition alive, Dubai Police have assigned crews consisting of five men — one sergeant, one traffic officer and three soldiers — to bring the cannons into designated areas.

The other cannons are being shot from Mussallah and Al Raas in Deira, from Bur Dubai at Mussallah in Karama, as well as at Safa Park in Jumeirah.

Thanks guys – next time you want to fire off heavy artillery in the ‘hood, maybe just a neighborly heads up?

1 comment:

jimdad said...

Well, that certainly saves the trouble of setting a nice, civilized chime on your mobile phone...or watching the sunset yourself.