UAE weather: Abu Dhabi and Dubai covered by sandstorms

Winds picked up sand and dust on Wednesday morning

Visibility was suddenly reduced in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on Wednesday as strong winds kicked up dust and sand.

The capital was blanketed by a sandstorm just after 9am with the high-rise towers disappearing in the haze and drivers having to take extra caution on roads. By 10am conditions had improved over the city before it became shrouded again at 11am.

Residents took to social media to share their experience of the conditions which swept in quickly.

Dubai also faced challenging conditions as the skies turned darker around mid-morning.

Winds whipped up dust in construction sites and the high-rise towers of Dubai Marina were obscured by sand.

Dubai Police told drivers to be careful along the main roads in the emirate - namely Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, Emirates Road and Sheikh Zayed Road.

The National Centre for Meteorology had earlier issued a dust alert for most parts of the country, saying that blowing sand would cause poor horizontal visibility amid wind speeds that could reach 42kph.

Temperatures were predicted to peak at 30°C shortly after midday.

Conditions in the Arabian Gulf and Oman Sea were set to be rough.

Night time temperatures could drop to about 20°C in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the course of Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning, with lower temperatures expected during the day on Thursday.

Moderate to fresh winds are forecast to result in more dusty skies.

Meanwhile, sandstorms were affecting other areas of the region, with Riyadh closing schools on Tuesday amid a storm system passing over Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh was blanketed by an orange hue during daytime, and videos on social media showed near-zero visibility.

Earlier this week a huge sandstorm covered Spain's Canary Islands - off the coast of north west Africa.

Flights were cancelled leaving tourists stranded on the popular holiday islands.

Updated: February 26, 2020 01:16 PM


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