Latest: Expo 2020 Dubai officials monitor storm approach
A cyclone due to make landfall in Oman on Sunday will affect parts of the UAE, according to forecasters.
At a televised briefing by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (Ncema) on Saturday night, forecasters said the north-east coast around Fujairah, along with Al Ain, would be worst affected.
High winds from a tropical cyclone named Shaheen will appear on land at about noon in Fujairah and Al Ain, which is expected to have significant rainfall, said Mohamed Al Abri from the National Centre of Meteorology.
He said people in badly affected areas should stay away from beaches because waters were expected to rise.
“Stay away from mountains and valleys, which are prone to flooding,” Mr Abri said.
Oman is expected to bear the brunt of the storm.
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Local authorities may take the decision to close schools and return to distance learning, with government employees able to work from home. On Saturday night, Sharjah's private education regulator said all pupils in Khor Fakkan, Kalba and Dibba will move to online education on Sunday and Monday.
Dubai's government said only schools in the eastern town of Hatta would return to e-learning on Sunday and Monday, with normal classes for the rest of the emirate.
Mr Abri said high winds could lead to sandstorm conditions and there could be lightning in some areas.
Al Ain city, the area between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and Dubai and Al Ain will be the most affected when the storm system moves south-west.
It is expected to leave the country on Monday.
“Some cloud will be extended over these cities, but it will mainly affect the internal area between these cities, between Al Ain and Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and Dubai,” a government forecaster told The National shortly before the television briefing.
“This area will be more affected, as they are in the centre of the cyclone in the south or over Oman in general.
“There will be cloud and maybe some rain, but the intensity of the rain will be more in internal parts than the coast.”
Wind will also be strong at times, blowing dust, he said.
The storm is expected to leave the UAE on Monday.
Oman has called a two-day holiday on Sunday and Monday due to the expected impact of the storm.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said employers should prevent workers from engaging in duties that could be dangerous during storm conditions.
Employers must make sure buses and all other vehicles used to transport people to and from work are used safely.
Cyclones in the UAE are highly unusual, but not unheard of.
In 2007, cyclone Gonu formed over the Arabian Sea, creating huge waves, pushing large amounts of water towards the Fujairah coast, and forcing roads to be closed and traffic diverted.
The UAE was only indirectly affected that time, the forecaster said.
“Before, in 2007, the country was affected, but it was not directly affected,” the forecaster said.
“The sea was rough and we had water outside on the beach, but this cyclone is very close to the UAE, so it is more affected by rain and wind.”