A 10-hour incessant weekend rainstorm brought chaos to Dubai on Saturday morning with long traffic blockages and flooding across the city. Flights were diverted and roads were closed as a result of this excessive rainfall.
The Dubai Media Office called the rain “unusually heavy” and said “rainfall reached 150 mm/hour for two-and-a-half hours”, according to initial reports.
Unusually heavy rain has hit Dubai, with rainfall reaching 150 mm/hour for 2.5 hours, according to preliminary reports, resulting in water ponds in some areas of the emirate and traffic diversions.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 11, 2020
Dubai is one of the most populous cities in the United Arab Emirates and is known to receive about 10 mm of rain in an entire month. But last weekend, the people of Dubai witnessed rainstorm which broke the 24 year record for Dubai. The drainage systems of Dubai which were used to dealing with the normal work load according to Dubai’s climatic conditions could not handle this unusually intense rainfall.
The rain has increased heavily overnight. This is The Gardens, Jebel Ali. Stay safe all! pic.twitter.com/6uM2LrhaPb
— Lovin Dubai (@lovindubai) January 11, 2020
The most severely affected part of Dubai was the Dubai International Airport, without a doubt. The runways were submerged in water and were rendered nonoperational. Flights were delayed, diverted, cancelled and the passengers were stranded. Dubai International Airport was seen scrambling to cope with the extreme weather, with engineers working 24/7 to get its operations back to normal.
#Dubai Airport cancelled, diverted and delayed flights on Saturday due to heavy rain and flooding
— EHA News (@eha_news) January 11, 2020
It appeared that the majority of flights were delayed for about 1-3 hours. Some flights, like EK82 coming from Lyon, arrived five hours later than the preliminary scheduled time. Several flights were diverted to neighboring airports to cope with the unfortunate operational disruption such as Muscat International Airport (Oman), Fujairah International Airport (UAE). Most flights that were diverted landed at Al Maktoum airport, also known as Dubai World Central. A smaller percentage of flights from Dubai International Airport were canceled.
Passengers were asked to check new scheduled times with airlines and keep sufficient time to reach the airport. The Roads and Transport Authority urged residents to use the metro service to reach terminals one and three to avoid heavy traffic around the airport due to flooded roads.
Weekend rainstorm brought chaos to Dubai roads and airport like never before. This happens every year round there when there is a heavy rain. People of Dubai hope the respective authorities finally will solve this flooding problem.