Heavy rains disrupt operations at Dubai Airport, flights diverted

Dubai International Airport (DXB), one of the world’s busiest hubs for international travel, experienced significant disruptions on Tuesday, April 16th, due to heavy rainfall and severe weather conditions across the UAE.

According to reports from Sky News and Gulf News, the city of Dubai recorded over 120mm (4.7 inches) of rainfall on Tuesday, nearly matching the annual average for the desert nation.

Homes, roads, and the airport’s tarmac were flooded, with abandoned, partially submerged vehicles left stranded.

As a result of the heavy downpour, DXB temporarily suspended operations for 25 minutes and diverted arriving flights to nearby airports until weather conditions improved.

At least 21 outbound and 24 inbound flights were canceled throughout the day, with three flights diverted to other locations.

While departure flights continued to operate, the airport announced that inbound flights would be diverted until the weather situation improved, as quoted by Gulf News.

“The airport is working hard with its response teams and service partners to restore normal operations and minimize inconvenience to our customers,” Dubai Airports, the operator of DXB, said.

Low-cost carrier flydubai also announced the temporary suspension of all its departing flights from Dubai until 10 am local time on Wednesday, April 17th, due to the adverse weather conditions, as reported by the UAE’s state news agency WAM.

The heavy rainfall and flooding were not limited to Dubai, affecting other parts of the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.

Neighboring countries like Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia also experienced heavy rain.

Experts from the Met Office and Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson noted that while flash flooding events are not unusual in the Gulf region, the timing of this event in April is rare, as such occurrences typically occur between December and March.

Authorities and emergency personnel were mobilized to address the situation, with tanker trucks deployed to pump away the excess water from flooded streets.

Passengers were urged to check with their respective airlines for updates on flight statuses.

The region’s vulnerability to flooding due to insufficient drainage systems and the impacts of climate change, which can intensify extreme weather events, were highlighted by commentators.

As operations gradually resume at DXB and the weather conditions improve, the focus will be on restoring normalcy, ensuring the safety of travelers, and addressing the aftermath of this exceptional rainfall event.

Dirk Andrei Salcedo Avatar

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