Extreme Rainfall Claims 18 Lives in Oman as Dubai Airport Submerges

With an annual rainfall of one year in Dubai alone, the United Arab Emirates had its heaviest rainfall in seventy-five years, briefly grounding flights.

It will continue to rain throughout Wednesday. Officials predicted that the record-breaking downpour that flooded the UAE and neighbouring nations, killing 18 in Oman and grounding Dubai's air travel, will persist into Wednesday.

The average annual rainfall in Dubai is about five inches. Just the rain that dropped by Tuesday night was enough to reach that level. The government and National Centre of Meteorology of the United Arab Emirates made the announcement on social media, noting that this was the country's biggest rainfall event in 75 years.

Dubai International Airport stated on Tuesday that flights were being redirected and that operations had been paused for at least 25 minutes earlier in the day due to the severe storm. "Allow significant extra travel time to the airport and use the Dubai Metro for smoother transit," the airport told passengers, adding that there was "major flooding" on roads leading to the airport. Passengers were also asked to verify the status of their flights.

According to the weather centre, further rain is anticipated to fall across the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai, starting from the west and moving eastward during the night.

"Some 10 schoolchildren swept away in a vehicle with an adult" were among the 18 casualties in a different rainfall event that occurred in Oman, a country that shares an eastern border with the United Arab Emirates, according to the Associated Press.

Thunderstorms accompanied by high gusts and hail were anticipated overnight into Wednesday, according to officials.

Social media videos showed planes taxiing through thick water at Dubai International Airport. According to the airport, which serves as Emirates' operational hub, over 80 million passengers passed through its gates in 2023. More than 100 airlines serve 262 destinations in 104 countries out of this world's second busiest airport.

According to AP, drivers in another part of Dubai fled their cars as the severe rains that started the previous night swamped sections of important routes.

By Tuesday night, the downpour had deposited about five inches of rain on Dubai, which is approximately the amount of precipitation that the United Arab Emirates receives in a year. The United Arab Emirates experiences an arid desert environment with infrequent rain, with the majority of its precipitation falling in the winter./BGNES