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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Storms over Abu Dhabi prompt ministry warning

Police and the UAE Ministry of Interior urged residents to stay inside while winds blew debris around

Lightning strikes over Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Charles Capel / The National
Lightning strikes over Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Charles Capel / The National

UPDATE: More rain and high winds expected in UAE

Abu Dhabi Police asked residents to stay indoors as a rainstorm blew sand and debris through the city on Sunday night.

In a warning message to all residents, Abu Dhabi Police said: "Due to the bad weather please stay indoors and do not go out."

Abu Dhabi Police issue warning message to residents due to heavy rain. 
Abu Dhabi Police issue warning message to residents due to heavy rain. 

Rain began in the capital at about 6pm on Sunday as gusty winds whipped up sand and lightning flashed across the sky.

Residents reported rain at Khalifa Park, Airport Road and along the Corniche.

At Reem Island, strong winds blew sand and debris from construction sites. In Khalidiya, garage roofs flew off and small branches from trees were blown on to the streets.

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The Ministry of Interior tweeted a warning message asking motorists to drive carefully, as videos of the rain emerged on social media.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, where first anniversary celebrations were under way, cancelled a concert by British pop star Dua Lipa, which was due to start at 8.30pm. The museum cited bad weather as the reason and requested visitors to stay inside the exhibition spaces for safety.

On Sunday, the National Centre of Meteorology said heavy clouds would form over areas of the country, particularly in the western coastal region.

The bureau warned of two-metre high waves in the Arabian Gulf and north-westerly wind with speeds of up to 42kph.

Rain was also reported in Um Al Sheif in Dubai, near Mall of the Emirates.

Over the next few days, north-westerly winds will push rain clouds over the Arabian Gulf towards the UAE from Kuwait, where storms left one person dead and caused severe flooding.

Temperatures will range between 16°C and 35°C.