Business News

Dubai airports shut down temporarily as stormy flood disrupts UAE

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, experienced severe disruptions due to heavy rains on Tuesday, with significant flooding reported across major highways and even affecting operations at the city-state’s primary airport.

Reports say that the flooding commenced overnight, transforming typically arid streets into vast ponds and airport tarmacs. Dubai International Airport, a global hub for international travel and home to Emirates Airlines, grappled with flight disruptions exacerbated by whipping winds accompanying the downpour.

Airport authorities announced a temporary cessation of all operations for approximately 25 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, followed by the diversion of all incoming flights until weather conditions improved, as communicated through official social media channels.

By evening, the UAE had accumulated over 4.75 inches of rainfall, a volume typically seen over a year in the desert nation, with more precipitation anticipated in the ensuing hours. Additionally, rainfall was reported in nearby Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, indicating the widespread impact of the storm across the region.

In Oman, situated on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the National Committee for Emergency Management released a statement confirming the grim toll of the recent heavy rains. At least 18 fatalities were recorded, including approximately 10 schoolchildren who tragically perished on Monday after being swept away in a vehicle along with an adult.

The incident shows the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events attributed to human-induced climate change, a concern echoed by climatologists worldwide. Beyond the Arabian Peninsula, regions such as southern Russia and Central Asia have grappled with similarly devastating weather patterns, characterized by unusually high levels of rainfall and snowmelt. These conditions have forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and resulted in fatalities, including over 60 deaths in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As communities across the globe confront the repercussions of climate change-induced weather extremes, the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact and adapt to evolving environmental challenges becomes increasingly apparent.

In November 2023, the COP28 conference on climate change took place in Dubai, sparking significant discussions and debate, especially considering Dubai’s status as one of the top 10 oil-producing countries.