Updated April 17th, 2024 at 14:00 IST

TOP STORY/ Travel Chaos in Dubai: Floods Disrupt Over 500 Flights, Impacting Indian Travelers

Dubai Rains: Over 500 flights—both inbound and outbound—have been diverted or cancelled amid forecasts predicting further downpour and storms.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Dubai Drenched: Heavy Rains Cause Havoc, Over 500 Flights Hit | Image:AP

New Delhi: Torrential rains that have wreaked havoc across Dubai have caused flight delays and diversions, disrupting normal life. Reports claimed that over 500 flights—both inbound and outbound—have been diverted or cancelled amid forecasts predicting further downpour and storms. 

Dubai International Airport acknowledged Wednesday morning that the flooding had left “limited transportation options” and affected flights as aircraft crews couldn't reach the airfield.  "Flights continue to be delayed and diverted. We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions," Dubai Airport spokesperson said.  


At the airport, standing water lapped on taxiways as aircraft landed. The airport ended up halting arrivals and passengers struggled to reach terminals through the floodwater covering surrounding roads.

If reports are to be believed, nearly 15 Dubai-bound flights from India have been cancelled by Indian aviation authorities, with an additional 13 flights to India also facing cancellation.  


"Due to adverse weather conditions in Dubai, Sharjah, RasAlKhaimah, Abu Dhabi & Muscat, our flight operations are impacted. Please keep a track of your flight status at https://bit.ly/2EjJGGT before leaving for the airport", tweeted IndiGo.

Meanwhile, Schools across the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms, largely shut ahead of the storm and government employees were largely working remotely if able.


Many workers stayed home as well, though some ventured out, with the unfortunate stalling out their vehicles in deeper-than-expected water covering some roads.

Authorities sent tanker trucks out into the streets and highways to pump away the water. Water poured into some homes, forcing people to bail out their houses.


Rain is unusual in the UAE, an arid, Arabian Peninsula nation, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

Downpour began late Monday, soaking the sands and roadways of Dubai with some 20 millimetres (0.79 inches) of rain, according to meteorological data collected at Dubai International Airport. The storms intensified around 9 a.m. local Tuesday and continued throughout the day, dumping more rain and hail onto the overwhelmed city.  


The state-run WAM news agency called the rain Tuesday “a historic weather event” that surpassed “anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949.” That's before the discovery of crude oil in this energy-rich nation then part of a British protectorate known as the Trucial States.

By the end of Tuesday, more than 142 millimeters (5.59 inches) of rainfall had soaked Dubai over 24 hours. An average year sees 94.7 millimetres (3.73 inches) of rain at Dubai International Airport, a hub for the long-haul carrier Emirates.  


(With agency inputs)


Published April 17th, 2024 at 13:35 IST