Home Climate Torrential Rain In UAE Breaks Records, Major Disruptions Reported

Torrential Rain In UAE Breaks Records, Major Disruptions Reported

Cars drive through a flooded street during a rain storm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 16, 2024. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi

Guess what happens when it rains in the desert? Life goes for a full toss as the authorities in the United Arab Emirates are figuring out. Torrential rains in the span of less than a day saw flooded streets, cars stuck on roads and people awestruck to see so much water. The National Meteorology Centre reported a record-breaking rainfall of 254 mm in Al Ain on Tuesday, marking the highest recorded since 1949, before the formation of the UAE in 1971.

The severe weather eased by late Tuesday, but disruptions persisted into Wednesday, notably affecting air travel. Emirates airline halted check-in for passengers departing from Dubai International Airport until midnight due to operational disruptions. The airport, one of the globe’s busiest hubs, experienced considerable delays and diversions, impacting both flights and flight crew schedules.

Passengers were advised to refrain from travelling to the airport and to verify their flight statuses directly with their carriers. “We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions,” stated the airport on the social media platform X.

Meanwhile, Emirates reassured that passengers in transit would continue to be processed, though delays in both departures and arrivals were anticipated. The airport’s website displayed prolonged delays for several flights.

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Tragically, an elderly Emirati man in his 70s died on Tuesday morning when his vehicle was swept away by flash floods in Ras Al Khaimah, located in the northern part of the country. In the neighbouring Sultanate of Oman, the situation was even more grave with 19 fatalities reported, including school children, after three consecutive days of heavy rain that also resulted in community-wide flooding.

The Times of Oman cautioned that further rainfall was expected on Wednesday. Despite clear skies in Dubai, the aftermath of the storms left some roads deserted as the government mandated remote working for its employees and schools for a second day. UAE media and social media were awash with images showing the extensive damage caused by the downpour, including collapsed roads and homes flooded by the deluge. Viral posts from Tuesday depicted roads and car parks turned into lakes, with some vehicles completely underwater and major highways like Sheikh Zayed Road partially flooded, causing extensive traffic delays.

With Inputs From Reuters