Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 April 2020

Watch: Dubai residents cheer and clap from balconies to honour 'unsung heroes' as rain pours down

'Some people were turning the lights on and off to create a flashing effect,' one resident tells us

On Saturday, March 21, UAE skies lit up as lightning, thunder and rain hit parts of the Emirates.

With many UAE residents practising social distancing by staying at home, the balconies of high-rises became hot spots for people wanting to catch a glimpse of the showers.

As the sky flashed continuously, accompanied by heavy rain, thunder and, in some places, hail, residents living in some high-rises took to cheering, singing and clapping while taking in the spectacle.

Some residents also waved to others on balconies, using their mobile phones as torches in a show of solidarity.

The cheering could be heard in many parts of Dubai, including Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Mankhool and more.

“We were watching television when we started hearing the noise so we went outside and it was such a fun moment. People were cheering on balconies, whistling, and using plates to make noises. Some were even turning the lights of their apartments on and off to create a flashing effect,” says Parvathi Vidhun, a resident of Marina Pinnacle Tower who posted on Instagram showcasing one such “balcony party”.

“Until then we were all slightly bored being at home all day, this was such a lovely moment.”

According to Vidhun, the cheering went on for about an hour.

Meanwhile, many used the occasion to send a message of support for medical staff, cleaners, security guards and delivery drivers: all those who have been working around the clock to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

A post on Facebook group Dubai Expat Community encouraged residents to “show up on balconies to support everyone affected” at 9pm on Saturday, March 21 and “give a round to applause to unsung heroes”.

Moderate to heavy rains also fell over parts of Abu Dhabi around 10pm. Rainfall is expected to continue throughout the UAE on Sunday, with a chance of thunder and lightning towards the north and east of the country.

Updated: March 22, 2020 12:01 PM

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