Dubai flights: All arrivals diverted away from airport amid floods and rain in UAE

Flydubai suspends all departures until 10am on Wednesday

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UAE weather live: Emirates hit by severe storms

Dubai International Airport said all arrivals would be diverted elsewhere due to the treacherous weather.

All departures will continue despite the rain and thunder engulfing the UAE on Tuesday.

“We are temporarily diverting arriving flights this evening until the weather conditions improve. Departures will continue to operate,” the airport, known as DXB, announced on social media platform X.

“Together with our partners, we’re working to restore normal operations and minimise inconvenience to you.”

Airline Flydubai said it was suspending all departures from DXB until 10am on April 17.

"All flydubai flights scheduled for departure from Dubai this evening (April 16) have been cancelled effective immediately until 10am (Dubai local time) on April 17," said a representative of the airline.

"During this period, passengers who do not have Dubai as their final destination will not be accepted for travel. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update our schedule accordingly.

"This will allow us to restore operational continuity more efficiently and accommodate arriving flights from around the network where possible."

UAE authorities on Tuesday urged the public to remain indoors amid severe storms sweeping the Emirates.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said people should only leave their homes in “extreme necessity” in a safety alert.

Dubai Airports said 17 flights were cancelled on Tuesday due to the weather.

Weather warnings remain in place after large parts of the UAE were lashed by torrential rain and thunderstorms in the early hours of Tuesday.

And the Dubai government has extended remote working for employees until Wednesday, while private schools in the emirate have also been directed to continue remote learning.

Private sector entities have also been urged to adopt remote working for an additional day to ensure safety.

Heavy downpours were recorded in Abu Dhabi and Dubai shortly after midnight as thunder woke people in the cities and lightning lit up the skies.

Intense rain continued in Dubai for several hours on Tuesday morning in what weather experts warned was the “first wave” of stormy weather set for the Emirates during the day.

Conditions eased later in the morning before the Emirates was hit by a fresh flurry of rainfall shortly before 3pm.

Traffic disruption

Widespread flooding was reported on roads due to the continued rainfall, while flights in and out of Dubai International Airport were experiencing delays.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority advised motorists using Al Asayel Street and First Al Khail Street, coming from Business Bay towards Jebel Ali, to use alternative routes such as Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road.

The authority also warned of expected delays on Umm Suqeim street, with drivers asked to travel on Hessa Street instead.

Traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road was earlier brought to a standstill as rainwater flooded stretches of the motorway.

The RTA said it had response teams in place to deal with disruption caused by the persistent rain.

The authority said the Dubai Metro operating hours would be extended until 3am on Wednesday to support commuters who required alternative transport.

The National Centre of Meteorology issued yellow and orange alerts for much of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, cautioning that “hazardous weather events” were expected to last until 6pm on Wednesday.

It forecast further rainfall, thunder and hail throughout the morning and the evening and said winds could reach 70kph.

Several roads were closed in the Northern Emirates, while landslides were reported in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain.

Ajman's Muzaireh dam flooded after intense rain in the emirate.

Ajman Municipality urged the public to avoid flooded areas during the unstable weather.

Road in Al Ain collapses as rain and hail lash UAE

Road in Al Ain collapses as rain and hail lash UAE

The storms are expected to reach their peak on Tuesday, with conditions gradually easing on Wednesday.

The NCM said motorists should “avoid driving unless absolutely necessary” and to exercise caution if travelling.

Several public parks and beaches across the Emirates will be closed on Tuesday.

Flights cancelled

Significant disruption was caused to flights travelling in and out of Dubai.

“Dubai Airports can confirm that normal operations at Dubai International have been affected due to inclement weather conditions on Tuesday, 16 April, with some delays to arriving and departing flights,” a Dubai Airports official said.

“Consequently, a total of nine outbound and eight inbound flights were cancelled this morning, and three flights were diverted to other neighbouring airports, one of which has since returned to DXB.

“We urge guests to check directly with their airline to obtain the latest information on the status of their flight, allow extra travel time to the airport, and use Dubai Metro for smoother transit. We are actively collaborating with our service partners and airlines to minimise any inconvenience experienced by our valued guests.”

The weather forced flydubai to cancel flights, while several other journeys were delayed.

“We are working hard to minimise any impact on our passengers’ travel schedules and are coordinating with all parties at the airport,” the airline said.

“We will continue to monitor weather conditions closely and advise our passengers to arrive at the airport sufficiently before their flight times and check the flight status via the company’s website.”

Emirates Airline had urged travellers to plan ahead warning there could be delays on the roads leading to the airport.

“Due to adverse weather conditions forecast in Dubai on 16 and 17 April, customers headed to Dubai International Airport may experience road delays,” Emirates said.

“Plan for extra travel time to reach the airport, and complete check-in formalities before arrival for added convenience.”

Etihad Airways, the UAE's national airline, also said that some flights may be delayed due to the adverse weather.

“Due to the potential of adverse weather including heavy rains in Abu Dhabi from 15 to 16 April, some Etihad Airways flights may be delayed,” the airline said.

“Guests are advised to regularly check for the latest information about their flight departure and allow plenty of time to travel to the airport.

“Etihad will be working closely with guests affected by any disruption to assist them with changes to their itineraries and to reach their final destination.”

Speed limits cut

Abu Dhabi Police temporarily reduced speed limits to 100kph on several roads on Tuesday, including the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Road.

The force advised motorists to “exercise caution due to the rainy weather and to follow the changing speed limits displayed on electronic information boards”.

Storm Centre, a popular UAE weather monitoring account, shared footage of the weather on X, including thick clouds looming over Abu Dhabi and flooded valleys.

Nationwide response

Schools across the Emirates closed on Tuesday due to the conditions.

Pupils will study from home in online classes, in a model set up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Dubai, government employees will work from home on Tuesday, with some other public sector departments expected to do the same.

Nationwide, government school pupils will study from home until Thursday. Sharjah announced the same for private schools. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, private schools closed on Tuesday.

It is up to private sector companies to decide whether employees should work from home, but the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation urged anyone with outdoor workers to take precautions.

Remote working for all government employees, except those whose presence in the workplace is necessary, was announced on Monday night by state news agency Wam.

More wet weather to come

Dr Ahmed Habib of the NCM told The National on Monday that the stormy weather would occur in two stages.

“The first wave of the weather condition will see the formation of cumulus clouds in the southern and coastal areas by this evening [Monday], increasing in intensity before spreading to major cities in Abu Dhabi, followed by Dubai and the Northern Emirates, bringing varied intensities of rain, most of which will be heavy, accompanied by lightning, thunder, and possibly hail,” he said.

“The second wave of the low-pressure system will begin around noon on Tuesday, with the rain becoming heavier in Al Dhafra, then moving towards Abu Dhabi during the late hours and extending towards Dubai and the Northern Emirates, continuing until Wednesday morning before it starts to recede in the afternoon.”

Updated: May 08, 2024, 7:46 AM