Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 July 2020

Rain in Dubai and sandstorms in Abu Dhabi as wild weather continues

Latest bad weather comes weeks after country faced major disruption from storms

Related: Could this be the coldest morning of the year?

A weather alert was issued as sandstorms swept across the Emirates on Sunday and Dubai was lashed by heavy rain.

The National Centre of Meteorology said high winds carrying large amounts of dust and sand into the atmosphere would cause low visibility until about 6pm today in parts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Heavy rain fell in Dubai on Sunday afternoon as the UAE's wild month of unseasonal weather continued.

Forecasters from the centre warned residents to expect "north-westerly winds accompanied with dust load and blowing dust resulting in a reduction in visibility at times".

Warnings of sandy weather were displayed on the Abu Dhabi-bound section of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Strong winds combined with rainfall also made visibility difficult for commuters in Ras Al Khaimah.

Rough sea conditions persisted throughout the day.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority said ferry services between Dubai and Sharjah would be disrupted.

A flurry of hail fell over Jebel Jais as extreme weather took a firm hold in all corners of the country.

Rashed Al Shehhi collected hail stones that fell in the Jebel Jais area on Sunday. The thermometer on his car dashboard reads 2C - much colder than the coastal cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Rashed Al Shehhi
Rashed Al Shehhi collected hail stones that fell in the Jebel Jais area on Sunday. The thermometre on his car dashboard reads 2C - much colder than the coastal cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Rashed Al Shehhi

Earlier this month, a sheet of snow covered the UAE's highest peak, prompting visitors to swiftly make their own snowman.

People in Sharjah were also left gazing at gloomy skies as heavy rain fell, strong gust of wind blew in and temperatures plunged in the emirate.

The latest bout of bad weather comes just weeks after the country faced major disruption from storms that wreaked havoc for several days.

Homes were flooded, schools were forced to close and aircraft were grounded at Dubai International Airport due to persistent rain and fierce winds.

Rescue operations were launched in Ras Al Khaimah as wadis burst under the strain of the heavy rainfall.

It was announced last week that flood-hit residents in Ras Al Khaimah were to receive compensation after severe storms left a trail of destruction across the emirate.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, called for financial aid to be delivered to speed up the rebuilding process for embattled families.

A task force was set up to assess the damage caused by the recent extreme weather and ensure those in need are supported.

A minister pledged Dh500 million of investment to safeguard against flooding after saying the authorities “learned a new lesson” from the storms.

Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, told the Federal National Council that crucial projects are already under way to mitigate the damaging impact of extreme weather.

He said dams and flyovers would be built to reduce disruption caused by flooding.

The minister said the storms that hit the country earlier this month were the worst he had encountered during his time in office.

“We have learned a new lesson after the last rains, and some projects have already started taking place to face the effects of such,” he said.

“The amount of rain that fell last week I have not seen like it throughout my career.”

Dubai Municipality revealed a Dh2.5 billion drainage scheme was due to be operational by September.

The authority said 10 million man hours have been pumped into the tunnelling and construction process that promises to alleviate some of flooding problems around the emirate’s roads and communities.

Updated: January 27, 2020 01:11 PM

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