Fog delays, diverts dozens of flights and creates traffic gridlock

Dozens of flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport have been delayed or diverted this morning, as motorists on the ground experience traffic gridlock.

Dubai, Jan 30th, 2012 -- Fog blanketed Dubai on the morning of January 30, 2012. Photo taken near Dubai Marina facing Sheikh Zayed Road. Photo by: Sarah Dea/ The National
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Thick fog engulfed many parts of the UAE this morning, grounding flights and bringing traffic to a standstill.

According to the Abu Dhabi International Airport’s website, more than 30 flights were delayed as the fog blanketed the capital. Several flights were cancelled and at least another 30 flights due to land today were diverted to other airports.

Dubai and Sharjah airports have not experienced any weather-related delays.

Shaheen Air, which confirmed the flight disruptions, said two of its early morning departures to Pakistan were delayed and were expected to leave from Abu Dhabi this afternoon. An official from the airline said its incoming flights had been diverted to Al Ain.

Meanwhile, the thick fog created traffic gridlock in several areas of the UAE, including in Jebel Ali, on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highway and around the south-west part of the capital.

The National Center of Meteorology and Seismology urged motorists to drive carefully in the foggy conditions, which lasted until around 10am. "Visibility would be poor due to fog. Motorists are advised to be careful," said a weather forecaster.

The foggy conditions are likely to continue late tonight and tomorrow as the temperature continues to fall. Seas will remain rough and will become moderate by the afternoon.

Air travellers have been advised to call the airport on 02 5757500 for more flight information.