Dubai City Hit by Flooding as UAE Sees Heaviest Rainfall in 75 Years

Recent severe rainfall has inundated Dubai, causing widespread flooding and disrupting daily life in the city, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) experiences its heaviest rainfall in 75 years. The deluge has led to major highways being submerged and significant interruptions in flights at Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest travel hubs.

According to government sources, this rainfall event marks the most substantial precipitation the region has encountered in the past seven decades. Remarkably, Dubai received a year’s worth of rain within just 24 hours on Tuesday, a testament to the severity of the weather system.

In response to the adverse conditions, Dubai International Airport was forced to divert inbound flights temporarily, exacerbating travel woes for passengers. Additionally, all government entities and private schools in Dubai were instructed to switch to remote work on Tuesday due to the inclement weather.

The impact of the heavy rainfall extended beyond transportation and infrastructure, as even Dubai’s renowned malls struggled to cope with the relentless downpour. Shocking videos circulated on social media depicted scenes of Dubai International Airport’s tarmac submerged underwater, while motorists navigated flooded streets, their vehicles half submerged. In some instances, individuals were seen resorting to unconventional modes of transportation, including being lifted by excavators.

The severity of the storms is underscored by meteorological records, with Al Ain, a city in the UAE, receiving a record-breaking 254mm of rain within 24 hours, the highest since records began in 1949. The ferocity of the storms has unfortunately resulted in at least one reported fatality.

Although the intensity of the rainfall gradually subsided as the day progressed, the repercussions persisted, particularly for Dubai International Airport. The airport, which typically handles a significant volume of air traffic, faced considerable disruption, with flights delayed or diverted due to the adverse weather conditions.

The onset of heavy rain began on Monday night and continued until Tuesday evening, resulting in an unprecedented accumulation of over 142mm of rainfall in Dubai. This amount far exceeds the city’s typical precipitation levels, which are spread out over a much longer period.

Dubai International Airport, a crucial node in global air travel and a key hub for Emirates Airlines, typically receives around 94.7mm of rain annually. However, the recent deluge has surpassed this annual average within a remarkably short timeframe, causing operational challenges for the airport.

In addition to Dubai, inland areas of the UAE experienced substantial rainfall, with some regions recording over 80mm within a 24-hour period. Such heavy rainfall is a rare occurrence in the arid climate of the Arabian Peninsula, presenting significant challenges for the country’s infrastructure and travel networks.

As residents and visitors grapple with the aftermath of the floods and travel disruptions, the recent events serve as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of urban centers to extreme weather events in an era of climate uncertainty. The UAE’s response to these challenges will likely involve reassessing infrastructure resilience and emergency preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events.

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