Record Rainfall Causes Chaos in UAE: Dubai Airport Halts Operations

Dubai’s bustling international airport ground to a temporary halt as the United Arab Emirates grappled with its heaviest rainfall on record. The deluge led to widespread flight cancellations and delays, leaving travelers stranded both inside the terminal and on the waterlogged tarmac.

The torrential rain resulted in road blockages and flooding, hampering passengers’ ability to reach the airport for departing flights. In response to the challenging conditions, Emirates airline suspended check-in for all departing passengers from 8 a.m. local time until midnight on Wednesday.

Passengers queue at a flight connection desk at the Dubai International Airport (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Fly Dubai, a government-owned budget carrier, halted all flights from the UAE hub until 10 a.m. local time on April 17, citing the extreme weather.

The National Centre of Meteorology confirmed that the eastern emirate of Al Ain experienced the highest level of rainfall in the country, measuring 254.8 mm (10 inches) in less than 24 hours. This precipitation marked a significant milestone, with the UAE recording over 100 mm of rain—a 75-year record.

Vehicles drive through standing water on a highway after a rainstorm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Credit: Bloomberg)

As the situation intensified, the government issued a red warning, prompting the closure of offices, schools, and banks nationwide. The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Authority urged residents to stay home and advised them to park vehicles in eloquent areas to avoid flood-prone zones.

The adverse weather conditions severely impacted transportation infrastructure, causing gridlock on the main road linking Dubai to the capital, Abu Dhabi. Both Dubai’s metro system and its mall were inundated with floodwaters, and cars were seen floating down roads in many parts of the country.

The storms didn’t spare other parts of the Middle East, with reports indicating at least 18 fatalities in Oman as a result of flooding.

Arit Saha
Arit Saha
Arit Saha, an Economics graduate and budding content writer in Kolkata, deftly merges his passions for economics and global politics. He crafts engaging content weaving economic insights into geopolitical narratives. Contact: [email protected]
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