Did you know… every year each one of the seven emirates releases inmates from prisons in the spirit of the Holy Month to give people a fresh start.

The annual pardoning of prisoners just before the beginning of Ramadan is a tradition that has been in the UAE for decades, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai has just announced the release of 1,014 prisoners in Dubai (last year just over 700 were released).

This comes after UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the release of 977 prisoners in Abu Dhabi. This brings the total number of pardons up to 1,991 so far – the other five emirates are still yet to announce their pardons.

Dubai’s Attorney General, Essam Issa Al Humaidan has said that the pardon will “bring happiness” to the prisoners’ families, and help these people to “get a fresh start in life”. He said there will be support in “reintegrating them into the community”.

The prisoners represent a wide cross-section of nationalities and a broad range of UAE society. The process of release will begin now that the official pardon has been submitted, and if past years are anything to go by it’s likely they will be released around the time of the Eid holiday.

And don’t worry, those pardoned will all be considered people who are safe to the community and more than ready to be back on the UAE’s streets.


Forgiveness is a huge part of the Holy Month of Ramadan – it’s a time when Muslims are encouraged to seek forgiveness for bad behaviour so that they can start at Eid with a renewed and fresh sense of purpose. It is also a time when people are encouraged to forgive those around them – because forgiveness and moving on are a key part of the Quranic teachings.

Remember, Islam teaches that Allah is ‘Al Ghaffur’ – or the ‘oft-forgiving’ – and it is believed that an individual’s good deeds should be weighed against their bad (rather than judging someone just based on their wrongdoings).

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