Police ready for New Year revelry

Authorities increase presence and road closures after 14,337 fines were handed out in four hours last New Year's Eve.

DUBAI - NOVEMBER 5,2008 - Traffic along Al Ittihad road towards Deira is moving slow because of Road work construction. ( Paulo Vecina/The National ) *** Local Caption ***  PV Traffic 3.JPGPV Traffic 3.JPG
Powered by automated translation

DUBAI // Police will increase road patrols and security around hotels and nightclubs on New Year's Eve. Traffic police announced they will close a number of roads in some of the city's main party districts, including Jumeirah and Al Mamzar, to try to avoid last year's traffic chaos and ensuing violations. "Police and CID officers will be present in all hotels which are planning to celebrate New Year in Dubai to ensure the safety and security of the public, so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable night," said Col Saif Muhair al Mazroui, the acting director of Dubai Police's traffic department. "They will be there to break fights or attacks in the event it broke out between partygoers, and to prevent crimes like car robberies. "People will be heading in their cars to the city from all across the emirates and from neighbouring Gulf countries." Police said the decision was made after traffic officers issued 14,337 fines last New Year's Eve between 10pm and 2am. Col al Mazroui said another common problem on the night was indecent behaviour on the city's beaches. The chief of Dubai Police, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, last year ordered that no cars be allowed at the beaches for the night because of drinking and misbehaviour. "People can only get in by foot," Col al Mazroui said. Jumeirah Road will be open only in the Marina-bound direction; Al Dhiyafah Street will open only to traffic travelling towards the Trade Centre; and no U-turn will be allowed on Al Wasl Road coming from Sheikh Zayed Road. There will be 441 officers on patrol. "We will have them split in two areas, Bur Dubai and the Deira areas. There will be police officers, patrol cars and foot patrols," Col al Mazroui said. "Road closures will start from 10pm and will continue until 1.30am but police presence is expected to continue until 4am." Police said such closings, which were tried during the National Day and Eid holidays, helped ease traffic congestion. "Blocking the roads in this way will help traffic move faster. However, if the traffic flows in a U-turn then it will make it difficult to control traffic," Col al Mazroui said. He also warned motorists to keep the roadblocks in mind before making their journeys. "If someone is planning to make it to a certain area that night, then they should keep in mind that they will not be able to turn back. They should especially keep that in mind if they have children." Col al Mazroui said vehicles would be allowed through road blocks by police in emergencies. rabubaker@thenational.ae