Images of destruction by this week's storm dominated social media. Delores Johnson / The National
Images of destruction by this week's storm dominated social media. Delores Johnson / The National

Thunderstorm overwhelms other events on social media

There were not many occasions when tweeters seemed to be so feverish as they were over the past week. The storm that battered our country, the announcement of the extension of compulsory national military service from nine months to a minimum of 12 months and International Women’s Day – all of these sent Twitter users into a tizzy.

The weather

A rare high-intensity storm, accompanied by heavy rain, wreaked havoc across the country on Wednesday, causing damage to vehicles and infrastructure in some parts. The scary weather conditions prompted even the education authorities to declare a two-day school closure.

“I’m terrified as the whole country is flooded,” wrote @xswagx5.

Not just words, but the social media platform was flooded with videos and photographs of inundated streets, uprooted trees, shattered windowpanes and damaged vehicles. Some of these posts went viral on social media. One such video, tweeted by @SpencerOgdenO_G, was particularly interesting because of its humour. It showed a man riding a shopping cart in a flooded area somewhere in Al Quoz in an effort to reach his car.

@davidiumbra shared a photo of cars submerged in rainwater. It was accompanied by advice to commuters to stay indoors.

Some individuals such as @ShujaRabbani were shocked by the intensity of the rainstorm. “Never did I imagine that it would rain like this in the UAE,” he wrote. @RobMcGov reacted similarly, saying that he never experienced such weather in this country. “It’s the worst rain I’ve seen in five years here,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced that its offices in Jebel Ali would remain closed until further notice.

Yet, the stormy weather brought respite to some people such as @HebaAlSamt, who explained why we need heavy rains at times. “It washes away dirt and grime and makes us feel good.”

For @FarrukhNaeem, such weather is a perfect occasion to have some spicy Indian food with “karak chai”.

@AyladeMoraes, however, was amused to see such a topic to be trending on Twitter: “I love that I live in a country where rain trends on Twitter.”

@ashshanuferns was amused at how Nissan took advantage of the weather to promote its cars. This, he thought, was an intelligent way of marketing.

Military service

Most Emiratis welcomed the announcement that the period of the mandatory military service would be extended from nine months to a minimum one year.

Ahmed @ah_moosa expressed his patriotism, saying that it’s expected of a citizen to serve his country unto death.

Sultan @alameemi pointed out that military service would only make a man strong and that “our kids are here to serve the country whenever needed”.

Mohammed @BU_HAMEDuae wrote in a similar tone: “We are here to serve our country and to help keep it safe. It is an honour for me to be defending the UAE.”

Humaid @Humaid4040 said: “I swear in the name of God and He is my witness when I say that I will always be loyal to my country and its leaders.”

Celebrating women

Discussions centred on women on March 8 when the world marked International Women’s Day.

Addressing “all the moms out there”, @CAllstadt wrote: “You’re tougher than anyone.”

@CHOKERONNiE gave a proof of women’s strength, revealing that she built a billion-dollar empire after being betrayed by her former lover.

For @imnotaIexia, her mother was her biggest inspiration. “She is the most powerful, independent, beautiful, brave and smart woman I know.”

@ed_herbert shared a quote by Nobel-laureate Malala Yousafzai: “We must tell girls their voices are important.”

@Palomafaith expressed her admiration for Malala, who is not afraid of speaking her mind.

@MEastQuagmire underscored the strength of women by sharing a photo of a Palestinian woman showing a victory sign as she was being held by Israeli soldiers. “She will win in the end,” she wrote.

On Twitter: @SarahKhamisUAE

A little about CVRL

Founded in 1985 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) is a government diagnostic centre that provides testing and research facilities to the UAE and neighbouring countries.

One of its main goals is to provide permanent treatment solutions for veterinary related diseases. 

The taxidermy centre was established 12 years ago and is headed by Dr Ulrich Wernery. 

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

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