Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

Flooding and traffic chaos after heavy rains in UAE

One man is killed in Dubai when he pulled over to the hard shoulder of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road to check the damage to his vehicle as roads around the UAE flood.
Ship on land, cars in water: some streets in Al Quoz Industrial area have water ponds after moderate rainshowers. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Ship on land, cars in water: some streets in Al Quoz Industrial area have water ponds after moderate rainshowers. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

DUBAI // Traffic chaos and flooding around the city ensued after heavy rains on Tuesday, leaving one man dead in Dubai.

The Asian man was killed at about 1pm on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road when he pulled over to the hard shoulder to check the damage to his vehicle after losing control and crashing into the central reservation.

Dubai Police sources said the man was hit by another vehicle coming into the hard shoulder when that driver also lost control of his vehicle.

Traffic quickly built up on the motorway, where visibility had been massively reduced.

Amanjeet Singh, a restaurateur in Dubai, witnessed a couple of accidents during the morning rush hour.

People should not rush or hurry in this weather. Commuters should understand that not everyone is used to this weather and should drive slowly.”

A resident at The Gardens community in Dubai said the roundabout near the Ibn Battuta mall’s China Court was flooded as usual.

“Cars were broken down and the police was waiting on the other side to tow them,” said Naseer Bayaty, an Iraqi national. “People had to make a detour but got lost because of the roadworks that have been taking place since July. My wife had to drive very slowly through the water. She was lucky her car didn’t stop.

“Some of the other cars were seen driving over the pedestrian pavement to avoid the water. This keeps happening at The Gardens but we have become used to it.”

Some of the older neighbourhoods in Dubai flooded as the rain continued throughout the day.

“Every time it rains my front yard turns into a swimming pool,” said Umm Abdulla, who lives in Rashidiya. The Emirati grandmother of three was trying to salvage what she could of the garden furniture.

Rashid Mubarak was busy trying to get his friend’s car out of a flooded roundabout in Rashidiya.

“I told him not to go in, but the driver wouldn’t listen, now his car has stalled.”

The Emirati was, however, grateful for the rain.

“We don’t get a lot of rain, we are a desert country after all. So whenever it does rain, even when it rain this much, we are always happy and pray for more.”

Badria Al Mulla, was enjoying the day with her granddaughter, and used to take holidays in India when she was younger.

“I feel like I am in India. This heavy rain comes very rarely in the UAE. I feel refreshed, my garden looks green and clean and even the house looks brighter.”

Elsewhere in the country, the situation was similar.

Sharjah reported heavy downpours with some roads, especially in the industrial areas, flooded and impassable by midday.

Scenes of workers and cyclists taking shelter from the rain under the bridges were common on Al Wahda roads, Al Arouba and industrial areas.

In Ajman the municipality had allocated 60 drainage tanks to empty the roads of the flooded water. The most flooded areas were in the industrial areas, Jurf and Rashidiya.

Aftab Mounir, a businessman, said his daily commute from Ajman to Sharjah was four times longer on Tuesday because of the flooding.

“There was a lot of traffic because of all the water in Abu Shagara in Sharjah,” said Mr Mounir, a Bangladeshi.

“Usually the travel from my residence to Sharjah takes 10 to 12 minutes. But on Tuesday, it took more than 45 minutes. There was a lot of water, especially in the industrial areas. The roads there aren’t so good, which made it more difficult.

“There were many cars stuck in the water in the industrial areas and people were pushing them manually. There is no drainage system in Sharjah and that poses a big problem.”

However, Mr Mounir said the situation on Tuesday was better than two weeks ago when the rains were heavier.

The weather forced the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club to cancel its daily programme for schoolchildren.

Abby Griffith, senior water-sports instructor at the club, said that “students can’t learn when it’s windy”.

Rajan Maharajan, junior dock master at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, said the weather had not greatly affected people taking to the sea despite continued warnings from the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology.

“Today it’s not really that bad,” he said. “There is not a strong wind at the moment in Dubai Marina.”

Mr Maharajan said at the dock, wind speed was measured at about 10 to 11 knots with waves of about five to six feet.

He said the coastguard must give permits to all boats going out on the water and that he was not aware of any problems on Tuesday. He added that the weather had not seemed to affect businesses.


Updated: January 7, 2014 04:00 AM

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