Hundreds rescued after heavy rain at Sharjah mountain attraction

Visitors were stuck at Khor Fakkan's Cloud Lounge when fallen rocks blocked a road leading to the area

Footage widely shared on social media showed large rocks on the road leading to the mountain area. Photo: Ahmed bin Sulayem
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Hundreds of people were rescued after being stranded on a mountaintop tourist spot in Sharjah following heavy rains.

The authorities said 350 people were helped to safety when fallen rocks blocked a road leading to Al Suhub Rest House — known as the Cloud Lounge — in Khor Fakkan.

Sharjah Police, ambulances and civil defence teams were sent to the scene on Sunday.

The beauty spot was evacuated, with no injuries or damage to vehicles reported.

The observation point, which is about 600 metres above sea level, offers panoramic views of the country's east coast and the Gulf of Oman.

The attraction was opened by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, in July 2021.

Footage widely shared on social media showed large rocks on the road leading to the mountain area.

“A task force was set up immediately to respond to the incident,” said Brig Gen Ahmed Al Naour, director general of central operations at Sharjah Police.

“Our teams are highly prepared and ready to deal with challenges that may happen as a result of natural factors."

The road was partially opened to allow emergency vehicles to enter and for the visitors to leave the area when it was safe to do so.

“The evacuation of 95 vehicles and 350 people happened in record time after opening part of the road with help from relevant authorities,” said Youssef Al Othmani, head of Sharjah’s Roads and Transport Authority.

UAE set for more wet weather

The UAE is set for more heavy rain and a "significant" drop in temperatures this week after a wet weekend across parts of the country.

The National Centre of Meteorology forecast downpours in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, plus light rain for Dubai, on Wednesday.

In its latest five-day bulletin, the centre said rain on Wednesday would be accompanied by "a significant decrease in temperatures".

Yellow and amber alerts were in place at the weekend as downpours led to flooding in some areas.

On Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, floodwater covered parts of the 12-lane motorway, leading to tailbacks.

Police urged drivers across the country to be cautious.

January and February are typically the wettest months in the Emirates.

Sharjah's Cloud Lounge - in pictures

Updated: January 10, 2023, 9:48 AM