UAE weather: Flights cancelled at Dubai airport after heavy rain and thunderstorms

Schools close and remote working is put in place after heavy downpours across the country on Friday

UAE residents wade across flooded streets after heavy rain

UAE residents wade across flooded streets after heavy rain
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New forecast: UAE set for more rain this weekend but conditions to ease

Flights were disrupted at Dubai International Airport on Friday after heavy rain and thunderstorms in the Emirates.

The wet weather caused 13 inbound flights to be redirected to other airports, while six outbound flights were cancelled, a representative for Dubai Airports said on Friday.

The operator advised passengers to use the Dubai Metro, check traffic updates and give themselves plenty of time to reach Dubai International Airport, in addition to checking for flight updates online.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority also announced on social media that bus lines across the city have been suspended, including the E315 from Dubai to Sharjah and the E411 from Dubai to Ajman.

Dubai Police urged motorists travelling on Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road between Al Rashidiya Bridge and Sharjah to exercise caution and use alternative routes due to flooding in the area.

Sharjah City Municipality said it sent 96 tanks, 220 mobile pumps and three high-pumping capacity vehicles to clear flooded areas in the emirate.

The city has been divided into sectors to ensure a prompt response and the municipality's call centre will operate around the clock to swiftly handle all reports, authorities said.

Water removed from streets and other areas will be emptied in 59 rainwater collection basins that have been established across Sharjah.

Parts of the UAE were lashed by heavy rain and thunder on Friday morning.

The National Centre of Meteorology recorded heavy downpours in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Sharjah and Ajman, in updates posted to social media.

There was heavy rain, thunderstorms and lightning in parts of Dubai from 5am on Friday.

The weather bureau issued an orange and yellow alert for the Northern Emirates, warning residents of heavy rain, thunder and strong winds. Conditions are expected to settle by noon.

The RTA also issued a flood warning after rain accumulated around Sheikh Zayed Road on Friday morning. Motorists were urged to take alternative routes.

It has also joined forces with Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and Nakheel to clear the roads of damage caused by the rainfall and restore traffic flows in the emirate.

Dubai Municipality has asked residents to report flooded areas using its dedicated WhatsApp number, 800900 or the authority's mobile app.

Dubai school operator KHDA also issued a warning on social media on Friday morning urging schools and parents to be flexible for children, students and staff during the wet conditions.

“In times of rain, it’s important to be flexible – schools and parents can decide what’s best for their children, students and staff. Take care if you're on the road today,” KHDA wrote on X.

Dubai Airshow 2023, which is taking place this week at Al Maktoum International Airport, will be going ahead as planned including the flying display, organisers announced on Thursday.

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

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

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation urged private sector employees 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 advised motorists to take care on the emirate's roads.

The NCM said temperatures are expected to fall – with highs of 29°C and 28°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, 31°C in Ras Al Khaimah and 30°C in Fujairah.

Abu Dhabi Police called on motorists “to exercise caution due to the rainy weather and to follow the changing speed limits displayed on the electronic information boards. “Drive safely,” officers urged.

Police in Ras Al Khaimah on Thursday confirmed that government schools in the emirate on Friday would follow remote learning protocols due to the unstable weather.

Ajman Police confirmed that public and private schools in the emirate would be remote learning as well, due to the heavy rain.

Weather website Windy said the rain would spread to Fujairah in the afternoon.

Conditions are expected to settle by Saturday with temperatures rising slightly to highs of 30°C and 29°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, 30°C in Ras Al Khaimah and 31°C in Fujairah.

On Sunday, the mercury will rise again to highs of 31°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 31°C in Ras Al Khaimah and 30°C in Fujairah.

The conditions at sea over the weekend are expected to be calm.

Updated: November 17, 2023, 3:31 PM