Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 25 September 2020

UAE's cold wave leads to surge in portable heater sales

Pictures of snowfall in the Northern Emirates have been doing the rounds on social media

The country’s usual warm and sunny weather made way for wind and rain over the past few weeks and the chill in the air caused many residents to fork out cash for portable heaters.

The Northern Emirates were worst hit by rain storms and, in the mountains, even snow. This week, temperatures plummeted to as low as zero at Jebel Jais. But while the mercury has not dipped quite as low in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, lows of 10°C to 12°C have been recorded during the morning and evening hours.

As a result, air conditioning units have been switched off in many homes across the Emirates and heater knobs in cars dialled up to high. And while many residents have been reaching for their woolly jumpers to keep warm, others have invested in something a little more robust.

We have people ringing in asking for heaters because of the cold weather

Homesmiths staff member

Some shop workers have reported a surge in portable heater sales.

“We have two models, a small stationary plug-in one for Dh75 and a rotating, larger model for Dh120,” a sales assistant at a store in Dragon Mart said.

“We have sold more of the larger models actually; I guess that is because the weather has been colder than normal.

“The electric heaters have been more popular than the gas heaters because they are just used for short term.”

At a home-improvement shop in Motor City, a staff member on Thursday said they only stocked two heaters – for lack of demand – and both at last sold this week, after months of gathering dust in store.

“We actually only sell one heater type. It’s quite big and is priced at Dh499.

“We had two of those heaters sitting in store for a long time but actually this week, both were sold.

“Now we have people ringing in asking for heaters because of the cold weather, so we have offered to order in stock for them.”

Even larger hardware stores reported low stocks or none at all, proving just how in-demand they were.

“Unfortunately, we do not have any portable heaters available today in our Motor City or Sheikh Zayed Road stores,” a customer service agent at a hardware store in Dubai said.

“The reason why? It’s the cold weather. The only availability we have right now is in our Dubai Festival City store.”

On social media, many residents asked for the best places to buy fan and electric heaters, but one Facebook thread quickly turned comical.

While some people described the recent weather as “Baltic” and “freezing”, others replied and told them to “man up”, calling it “shorts and T-shirt weather”.

On Wednesday, pictures and videos were shared online of snow-capped mountains in Ras Al Khaimah. Snowmen, proudly dressed in scarves and hats bearing the colours of the UAE flag, also went viral.

And at the weekend, around a year’s worth of rain fell on some parts of the country, forcing a number of schools to shut on Sunday in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Temperatures are expected to return to normal this weekend. The National Centre of Meteorology is forecasting fair conditions for the UAE in general, with temperatures in the low 20s during late morning and afternoon hours.

Updated: January 16, 2020 03:07 PM

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