Flight disruption at Dubai International Airport as rain falls across UAE

Emirates cancelled flights to several destinations including Istanbul, Nairobi, Cairo, Amman, Singapore and Johannesburg

At Dubai International Airport, nine inbound flights and four outbound flights were cancelled overnight. The National
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Travellers in the UAE faced flight disruption after heavy rain fell across the country on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

At Dubai International Airport, nine inbound flights and four outbound flights were cancelled overnight, and five inbound flights were diverted, according to Dubai Airports.

But as of Thursday evening, after the adverse weather conditions had subsided, operations returned to normal.

Emirates cancelled nine flights on May 2 and 3 to several destinations including Bahrain, Kuwait, Dammam, Istanbul, Nairobi, Cairo, Amman, Singapore and Johannesburg.

Other airlines also delayed or cancelled flights as the UAE battled heavy rain just one week after record-breaking storms battered the country.

“Due to bad weather in Dubai on May 2, flight movements at Dubai Airport have been reduced,” an Emirates representative said.

"Customers arriving or departing from Dubai airport on May 2 can expect some delays as flights are rescheduled."

The airline apologised for any inconvenience and said it was “re-accommodating” passengers and waiving rebooking fees.

Emirates passengers were also advised to use the Dubai Metro to reach Terminal 3.

“If you’re travelling to Dubai International Airport, you may experience road delays. We recommend adding extra travel time to reach the airport and using Dubai Metro where possible,” Emirates said.

Dubai Airports also advised travellers to use the Metro on Thursday morning.

“We strongly encourage the utilisation of the Dubai Metro to get to DXB Terminals 1 and 3 wherever feasible,” a Dubai Airports representative told The National.

"Ensuring the safety and convenience of our guests remains our top priority, and we are working with airlines and service partners to minimise any inconvenience."

Roads around the world's busiest airport were waterlogged in last month's storms and could face further damage after the rain on Wednesday.

Flydubai also delayed several flights and is advising travellers to leave plenty of time to reach the airport.

“Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey to Dubai International whether they are travelling by car or public transport,” a representative for the airline told The National.

On Wednesday, Dubai Airports issued an alert to passengers flying out of Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum Airport to plan ahead.

“Guests are urged to check their flight status with their airline and consider arriving at the airport earlier than usual to accommodate for any delays or queues caused by the weather," Dubai Airports Authority said.

"Plan extra time for check-in, security and boarding processes,” said Dubai Airports Authority.

Travellers should also use smart apps for real-time traffic updates and alternative routes when driving or taking a taxi to the airport, the authority said.

Flight diversions in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah

In the UAE capital, several flights were disrupted overnight due to adverse weather.

An Etihad Airways flight from Kuwait was diverted to Muscat and two flights bound for Abu Dhabi from Dammam were diverted to Dubai World Central and Muscat.

Etihad Airways also issued travel advice to passengers, including those travelling by road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“If you're travelling to Zayed International Airport, please allow extra time in case of delays and plan your journey accordingly," an airline representative said.

"Passengers using the Etihad bus service between Zayed International Airport and Dubai are encouraged to check in early for their transfer to allow additional time to reach the airport."

There is also travel disruption at other airports in the UAE.

Air Arabia has advised passengers to plan extra time for travel to its hubs in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

And Indian airline Indigo announced that flight operations are affected due to “bad weather” in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Similar alerts were issued by SpiceJet and Vistara airlines.

Travellers hoping to catch a bus to travel from Dubai to the UAE capital will have to delay their plans. All intercity buses between Dubai and Abu Dhabi were cancelled on Thursday morning.

“All intercity bus services between Dubai and other emirates have been suspended until further notice due to unstable weather conditions,” said Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority on X.

Top tips for travellers flying in adverse weather

  • Ensure that the contact details you gave the airline when booking your flight are up to date, so that you can be easily contacted if anything changes.
  • Plan to take the Dubai Metro, if possible, when flying from Dubai Airport, as it is likely that many roads leading to the airport will be flooded, causing delays. When driving or taking a taxi, use apps such as Waze and Google Maps to keep an eye on closed roads and alternative route options.
  • If you have connecting flights, have a plan in place in case your initial flight is delayed or cancelled. Check what hotel facilities are available at the connecting airport and carry some essentials with you in case you have to spend longer than anticipated in transit.
  • If you no longer want to travel due to the weather, check if you can rebook your flight free of charge. Some airlines will waive rebooking fees.
Updated: May 02, 2024, 8:10 PM