Dubai's First Traffic Lights 1971

Dubai's First Traffic Lights were installed in Al Fahidi Street opposite VV and Sons. Why the lights were installed at this junction is unclear. There was little traffic plus it was not a major road junction so not a real test for Dubai's new Traffic Lights. Nevertheless Drivers soon adapted and developed techniques for dealing with traffic lights they are still using over 40+ years later - with exactly the same results!!!!

Dubai's Drivers have always been impatient, no more so than when waiting at Dubai's first set of Traffic Lights. Drivers sounded their car horns if they thought the Traffic Lights were taking too long to change. For no apparent reason these Traffic Lights were switched off between midnight and 6 am. At least Residents of nearby Apartment Blocks could get some sleep.

We lived on the 4th Floor of Al Owais Building above VV and Sons. There was never any need to buy an alarm clock! Each morning the sound of car and trucks horn would start promptly at 6am when the traffic lights were switched on.

Len Chapman Resident Al Owais Building

Location of Dubai's First Traffic Lights

These Traffic Lights were installed at the request of the municipality No.2 Boss Mr Abdul Ghaffor. They were purchased from GEC Elliott Automation (long since gone) and installed by myself supervising Cable Jointers from the Dubai State Telephone Company. I remember we put more Traffic Lights in over the next few years. The next set of Traffic Lights we installed was at Al Faheedi Fort junction.

Steve Camm (Dubai Resident 1969-78)

Not the first Traffic Lights in Dubai!?

I recall Traffic Lights installed at the junction of Quarry Road and Al Mina Street around 1967 which predates the Traffic Lights described on your page. They were installed to control Trucks carrying rock to Port Rashid Construction Site.

David Johnston (Dubai Resident-Sir William Halcrow&Ptnrs 1966-1970,1981-1984)

Len Chapman replies....

I'd forgotten those Traffic Lights! Should have remembered. Drove through them everyday for a number of years. I guess those Traffic Lights were part of a construction site whereas the Traffic Lights on this page were the first official Traffic Lights installed by Dubai Municipality therefore a Dubai Milestone. There is now a page devoted to Al Mina Street Traffic Lights.
Al Owais Apartment Block housing VV and Sons was demolished in 2014