Dubai floods after very heavy rains

UAE government says the country hasn’t seen so much rainfall in 75 years, with the extreme weather causing at least one fatality

Dubai, a world-renowned megalopolis in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been brought to a standstill by an unusually powerful downpour that has hit the typically arid region. Other parts of the country have also been battered by the natural disaster and at least one death has been reported.

The UAE government has reported that the country has faced the largest amount of rainfall since local meteorologists began keeping records 75 years ago.

With the rain having started on Monday night, by Tuesday evening Dubai was grappling with more than 142mm, over 5.5 inches, of precipitation – the amount that the area usually gets in a year and a half.

🚨BREAKING: DUBAI, exceptional weather with a storm dropping more rain than it receives in a whole year. Hundreds of buildings and thousands of cars are underwater, flooding streets and airport. — Ivano Panetti (@ivanopanetti)

The situation is compounded by the fact that many roads in Dubai lack proper drainage systems due to the area’s extremely dry climate. As a result, many drivers were trapped in their own vehicles, with some having to abandon them.

According to local police, a 70-year-old man lost his life when his car was swept away by torrents of water in the country’s northern Ras Al-Khaimah emirate.

The popular shopping centers Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates have also been flooded, as has at least one underground station.

Dubai International Airport – a major international transport hub – has seen its runways covered by water as well, with multiple flights being delayed and diverted.

Dubai Airport right now — Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3)

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, the airport operator advised travelers “NOT to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary.”  

Scenes of current Dubai weather — Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3)

The UAE’s National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority has urged citizens not to leave their homes and to park their vehicles in “elevated locations away from areas prone to flooding.”

Schools have switched to remote mode and government employees have also been told to work from home.

Authorities issued similar advisories back in March over extreme weather conditions.

The torrential rain currently hitting the region has also affected neighboring Bahrain and Oman, leading to multiple deaths there.