DUBAI // Both runways at Dubai International airport were closed at 6.45am today following power failure during foggy conditions. Operations were restored at 8.30am.
Airport authorities have confirmed that 50 flights were diverted to other airports in the region including Dammam, Muscat and Bahrain, Dubai World Central, Al Ain, Doha and Abu Dhabi.
“The closures were caused by the loss of power to a critical runway backup system required during foggy conditions. Runway operations were restored at 0830(am),” a Dubai Airports statement said.
“As further flight delays are anticipated as a result of the disruption, passengers are advised to check with their airline or airline websites for further information on flight arrival and departure times.”
Airport authorities said they were working with airlines, air traffic and ground services staff to restore operations, clear the backlog and limit customer inconvenience.
The thick fog also caused havoc on the roads with four accidents reported on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi motorway early today as cars collided in reduced visibility.
“I saw four accidents with two pile-ups of about 3-4 cars each before entering Abu Dhabi This was all before Shahama and in two cases the cars were badly damaged,” said Fares Sumairi, a motorist who travels daily from Dubai to Abu Dhabi on work.
“Traffic slowed down a little after people saw the accidents. People must drive much slower when the visibility is so poor.”
Motorists said they saw three ambulances at the accident sites.
The fog will persist over the next few days according to the National Centre for Meteorology & Seismology.
“We would like to warn drivers especially those driving from the Northern Emirates to Abu Dhabi and vice versa to drive carefully to avoid accidents,” a meteorologist said.
“This is a season of transition so we expect the fog to continue forming tomorrow and day after tomorrow.”
The visibility in Liwa was as low as 50 metres; in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi it was less than 100 metres and in Dubai it was 300 metres.