Dubai residents ‘stuck in offices for over 30 hours’ as floods and rain cause chaos

UAE has had its heaviest rainfall for 75 years

UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years

UAE records heaviest rainfall in 75 years
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UAE weather live: Emirates hit by severe storms

Heavy rain, thunder and lightning has caused chaos across the Emirates, with Dubai appearing to bear the brunt of the carnage.

Drivers face huge delays on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai International Airport has urged passengers not to travel there unless absolutely necessary and an Emirati died in flash flooding in Ras Al Khaimah.

Dubai has seen particular devastation, with power cuts in some areas, residential properties facing floods and residents not able to return home.

And, although the Dubai Government advised for all private and public sector employees to work remotely on Tuesday and Wednesday, some offices remained open as normal, with staff facing difficulty commuting as a result.

I was trying to get an Uber all night but, in the end, spent the night in my office
Paul Lund

Ahmed Ali, an accountant for a food and beverage company, told The National he has been stuck in his Dubai Marina office since 6pm on Tuesday because of the storm, having already completed a full day at work.

“I’ve been stuck in my workplace for more than 30 hours due to road closures and the Metro,” he said.

“There are about five more people with families back at home and we are waiting for the Metro service to resume so we can go home.”

Mr Ali, who is from Pakistan, said he and his colleagues had to spend the night in their office.

They purchased food from Dubai Marina Mall, which he said was located next to their workplace.

“We couldn’t sleep most of the night because there were no pillows or blankets,” he said.

Paul Lund, a financial analyst from the UK, is also still stuck in his office at Dubai International Financial Centre.

He slept there last night because of the road closures and is waiting for the Dubai Metro to resume services, so he can head home to Dubai Marina.

“The big problem yesterday was not just the Metro going down, but all the taxis were closed due to flooding at Dubai Mall and so everyone was left to try and flag anything down,” he told The National.

“I was trying to get an Uber all night but, in the end, spent the night in my office.

“Sheikh Zayed Road was already slow with traffic trying to get around the lakes on the road, but it rained very heavily at about 7pm and the water rose and trapped a lot of cars and buses.

“I went back to my office as I have a great view of the Metro in case it started back up – however I saw hundreds of people walking up Sheikh Zayed northbound towards Deira.

“There were hundreds camped at Dubai Mall Metro station when I left at about 1am.”

Steven Bischoff flew in from New York City to attend the Global Blockchain Show that was taking place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai Convention Centre in Umm Hurair.

He said the conference ended at 6pm and that is when the attendees realised the severity of the storm.

And when Mr Bischoff did finally leave the venue, it took him several hours to reach his hotel in Business Bay.

“I estimate 80 to 100 people were all trapped at the venue with no way to leave,” he said.

“A group of people (people I have never met) and my team journeyed through the storm.

“My hotel is Lusso Hometels J One – this was a three-hour walk from the venue.

“The Metro was open but only one station. This caused hundreds of people to be stuck at different stations across Dubai.

“Vasyl (my colleague) and I helped many people along the way.”

He said one family they encountered did not have phone service and could not access maps.

“We helped them get to a train station safely but it’s unknown if the station they needed was open,” said Mr Bischoff.

“We waded through flooded streets and had to navigate broken pieces of cars, metal and debris hidden under the dark brown water.”

Updated: April 23, 2024, 6:34 AM