Dubai residents shelter in Mall of the Emirates after homes lose power in storms

Historic rainfall causes buildings in nearby Barsha to lose power and electricity

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Dozens of people in Dubai have sought shelter at Mall of the Emirates after this week's devastating storms caused power cuts in residential buildings.

The UAE faced its largest single day of rainfall in 75 years, with waterlogged roads forcing some motorists to abandon their cars.

Water and electricity have been cut off in some buildings in Al Barsha, a district near the mall. Residents gathered there to cool down, with some using power sockets to charge their phones.

Jane Pasil, a Filipina resident of Al Barsha, said she came to the mall at 8.30am on Friday to charge her devices.

“My building does not have electricity and it’s too hot to stay in my flat,” Ms Pasil, who works as a receptionist, told The National. “A lot of us came here so we could also charge our phones.

"I have to be at work later today so my manager needs to stay in touch. I’m not even sure how I will reach there because there is a lot of flooding near the area I work in.”

Ms Pasil said many other residents spent most of Thursday and Friday at the mall.

Lourdes Malate, who also lives in Al Barsha, said she charged her phone at the mall to stay in contact with her family. “The storm has been in the news a lot and our families back in the Philippines are worried about us,” she said.

“So, I’m making sure I’m available on my phone so they don’t worry too much. It’s also very hot in our flat so it’s better to come here where there is air conditioning.”

There is still some flooding in areas near the mall, but it is accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road.

While some residents sought shelter in the mall, the arrival of shoppers showed it was still open for business.

Hussain Moosa, director of Mall of the Emirates, said in a statement to The National that the public should stay informed about traffic reports and road diversions "to facilitate smooth journeys to and from the mall”.

“Over the past few days, we have witnessed an extraordinary display of unity and resilience from our staff, tenants and customers, coming together to support each other in challenging circumstances,” Mr Moosa said.

A video went viral on social media this week showing water crashing through the ceiling of Flying Tiger, a variety store in the mall. The deluge knocked goods off shelves.

When The National visited the store on Friday, a staff member said the ceiling was repaired on Thursday and business had resumed. No one was injured during the incident, the employee said.

A store opposite Flying Tiger was closed, with stock spread across the floor and tables.

Updated: April 20, 2024, 10:32 AM