Home World Dubai flooding: Tourists warned to 'stay away' as 'apocalyptic' storm hits airport

Dubai flooding: Tourists warned to 'stay away' as 'apocalyptic' storm hits airport

Dubai has been hit by an ‘apocalyptic’ superstorm, leading to the death of at least one and causing chaos at the world’s busiest airport for international travel.

Torrential rain and severe flooding have left families sleeping on the floor at Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with numerous flights grounded amidst the deluge.

The country has been battered by more than 4.7 inches of rain before 4pm on Tuesday, equalling its average annual rainfall.

Described as “a historic weather event” by the state-run WAM news agency, the downpour has shattered all previous records since they began in 1949.

Luxury cars were seen “floating” through flooded roads around the airport, while inside, passengers found themselves without seats, forced to wait out the storm on the floor.

The international hub confirmed a stoppage of arrivals at approximately 3.30pm BST, only to announce a “gradual resumption” after over two hours of suspension.

A statement issued by the operators of Dubai Airport on social media warned: “We advise you NOT to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary. Flights continue to be delayed and diverted.

“Please check your flight status directly with your airline. We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions.”

A total of 17 inbound and outbound flights were cancelled during the morning and three were diverted, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

Operations at DXB were later suspended for 25 minutes on Tuesday due to an intense storm, the airport said in a statement.

Outside the walls of the airport, footage from those trapped in the wet conditions have shared video and images that resemble an apocalyptic world.

Abandoned cars have been left to gather and pile up as they remain submerged in heavily flooded roads. A handful of brave drivers battling the elements have been spotted sitting atop their roofs and waiting for rescue under the black sky.

The deep pools of water had overtaken streets lined with luxury vehicles which have been seen floating aimlessly after their drivers scrambled for escape.

A clip shared on X early on Tuesday showed entrepreneur and YouTuber Jordan Welch trapped in his Rolls Royce in Dubai as deep water flooded the road.

“My Rolls Royce got flooded and we’re stuck in the middle of the road in Dubai,’ he wrote. He posted in a follow-up: “Just like all my friends in crypto… today I am underwater.”

The usually arid desert city has been submerged underwater following an “apocalyptic” storm, resulting in at least 18 fatalities due to flooding in neighbouring Oman. 

The UAE, which rarely experiences rainfall, is now in a state of disarray due to torrential downpours, massive thunderstorms and frightening winds causing damage to infrastructure and power outages.

Dubai Airport announced that operations had been “temporarily diverted”, with images revealing the runway completely flooded as several states recorded nearly a year’s worth of rain in a single day.

Dubai Airport released a statement saying that inbound flights scheduled to land on Tuesday evening had been rerouted “due to the continued exceptional weather event currently being experienced in the UAE”.

The UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology issued a weather warning for large parts of the country, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Concerns are escalating for those still unaccounted for in neighbouring Oman, with the deceased including 10 students aged between 10 and 15 who lost their lives when the vehicle they were in tried to traverse a flooded area but was carried away.

Emirates and other airlines are advising passengers to get to the airport up to four hours early ahead of their flights, as Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority tweeted a warning: “If you’re travelling from #DXB today, be sure to allow extra time to get to the airport and use the Dubai Metro, where possible.”


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