Flexible work for private sector as UAE hit by heavy rain

Residents wake to thunder, lightning and alert messages from police

Rain clouds off the coast of Dubai. UAE residents can expected rain on Thursday night and Friday morning. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Powered by automated translation

Thunder and lightning hit the UAE on Friday morning, with Dubai and the Northern Emirates seeing the heaviest downpours.

Police in Dubai issued a rare emergency alert to residents' phones urging motorists to be cautious and to steer clear of flood-prone areas.

The government has urged the private sector to allow flexible working on Friday. A number of schools and nurseries were expected to be closed.

Downpours are expected throughout the morning before easing off in the afternoon. Saturday is expected to be wet but with the rain easing.

Residents took to social media to share video of lightning flashes and deafening booms of thunder, after a year of almost no rain.

On Thursday night, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation urged private sector employers to "apply flexible work patterns".

“Necessary measures need to be taken by companies to ensure outdoor work, which is necessary to resume, complies with the occupational health and safety requirements.

“Companies also need to ensure the health and safety of workers commuting to and from outdoor work locations.”

Abu Dhabi Police also took to social media on Thursday evening to advise motorists to take the utmost care on the emirate's roads.

"Abu Dhabi Police call on motorists to exercise caution due to the rainy weather and to follow the changing speed limits displayed on electronic information boards," police said on X.

"Drive Safely."

Police in Ras Al Khaimah also confirmed that pupils at government schools in the emirate would be learning remotely on Friday, November 17, due to the unstable weather conditions expected.

Ajman Police confirmed that both public and private school pupils in the emirate would be learning remotely on Friday as well, also due to the expected heavy rain.

Heavy rain fell in Ras Al Khaimah on Thursday afternoon with Dubai and Sharjah experiencing showers as well with much of the UAE likely to have rain on Thursday night and Friday morning.

The National Centre of Meteorology said heavy rain was falling over Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah as well as towards the north of the emirate, it also said showers were recorded on Dubai's Emirates Road on Thursday afternoon.

The NCM forecast that Thursday will be cloudy at times, with rain expected in certain areas.

Temperatures are expected to fall – with a high of 32°C forecast in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 33°C in Ras Al Khaimah and 30°C in Fujairah.

Weather website Windy said the rain would spread to Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and parts of Dubai.

NCM said Friday will again be cloudy, with rain over parts of the Emirates following a humid night.

Temperatures will reach a high of 27°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Al Ain is expected to experience temperatures of about 34°C with 33°C predicted in Ras Al Khaimah.

Overnight temperatures will be between 21°C and 23°C.

Rain is expected across Dubai and the Northern Emirates on Friday morning with the showers spreading to parts of Abu Dhabi.

It is expected to clear by Friday evening, although parts of Dubai and Sharjah are expected to have showers later on.

Saturday will be partly cloudy, with a chance of further rainfall over some northern, eastern, and coastal areas. Temperatures will reach a high of 30°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, dipping to 19°C at night. The overnight period is expected to be humid.

NCM said Sunday is expected to clear, with possible showers in eastern parts. Temperatures will reach 31°C, dropping to 20°C at night.

Updated: November 17, 2023, 5:20 AM