Rare Flash Flooding Hits Dubai After Year’s Worth of Rain in 12 Hours

Dubai Flooded

Intense rainfall causes chaos, with Dubai International Airport inundated and flights disrupted.

Dubai experienced rare and intense flash flooding following a year’s worth of rain in just 12 hours, causing chaos across the city. The deluge led to Dubai International Airport being inundated, resulting in flight cancellations and delays. Emirates suspended check-in services and advised against unnecessary travel to the airport due to operational challenges caused by the flooding, leaving some stranded passengers to spend the night at the airport due to limited transport options.

The flooding event was unprecedented, with nearly 4 inches (100 mm) of rain falling in just 12 hours, equivalent to Dubai’s average annual rainfall. This heavy downpour overwhelmed the city’s infrastructure, turning roads into rivers and leading to the abandonment of vehicles. Videos circulating on social media depicted water rushing through shopping malls and flooding homes, highlighting the severity of the situation.

The extreme rainfall event was attributed to human-driven climate change, which increases the atmosphere’s moisture content, leading to more intense rainfall events. This event marked the heaviest downpour in the United Arab Emirates since records began in 1949. The storm system responsible for the rainfall also affected nearby regions, including Oman and southeastern Iran, bringing unusually wet weather.

An SUV passes through standing water Tuesday in Dubai.Jon Gambrell / AP

Despite the disruption, the rain is expected to taper off, with a few showers lingering before dry weather returns. The event underscores the need for improved infrastructure and preparedness for extreme weather events in arid regions like Dubai, which are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

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  • […] Parliament has approved a loan facility of $150 million to fund the ongoing Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project. The World Bank loan aims to address issues of flooding in the capital. […]

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