Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 March 2020

UAE minister pledges Dh500m of funding after admitting 'learned lesson' from storms

Dams and flyovers will be constructed as part of major effort to reduce flooding threat in the Emirates

A UAE minister pledged Dh500 million of investment to safeguard against flooding after admitting authorities “learned a new lesson” from fierce storms that caused major disruption across the country.

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

He said dams and flyovers would be constructed 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.

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

Abdullah Al Nuaimi

“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.”

Dr Al Nuaimi was responding to a question raised by council member Saeed Al Abedi about the ministry’s action plan in the aftermath of severe weather conditions.

Earlier this week, 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.

Flood protection projects were on the agenda at Tuesday’s Federal National Council meeting. Antonie Robertson / The National
Flood protection projects were on the agenda at Tuesday’s Federal National Council meeting. Antonie Robertson / The National

Some Dubai tenants faced a major clean-up operation as their properties flooded.

Residents told of how they woke up to flooded properties, forcing them to spend the day with mops in hand as they struggled to cope with the deluge.

An army of more than 3,000 Dubai Municipality staff worked around the clock to drain water from affected areas across the emirate.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority had a 600-strong team working round the clock to clear up waterlogged roads before early-morning commutes.

Updated: January 21, 2020 08:24 PM

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