Dubai is known for its dynamism manifest in futuristic architectural feats, among other things. Dubai’s dynamism culminates in its efficiency in my opinion. It’s on this it came squarely as a surprise that the Arabian city was swamped with water on Saturday. There is, in other words, serious flooding in Dubai. And many properties including cars have been destroyed. Commuters or travelers have been stuck on their ways.
The city’s 2020 flooding was caused by a 10-hour rainfall. And this has caused difficulty for those in Dubai. The rain started on Friday on which it fell throughout. It lingered through the early hours of Saturday leaving many roads heavily waterlogged. This rainfall is unusual. It’s no mere rainfall but rainstorm. In a regular January, about 10mm of rain is the expected amount of rainfall. But this January has seen a whooping 150mm of rain in an hour for two-and-a-half hours.
Although it must be mentioned that Dubai experienced a shocking rainstorm in 2016 which caused serious flooding. There was also flooding two months ago.
In this year’s rainstorm, some drivers sat in standstill on their way from Dubai to Abu Dhabi from 7am untill 11am. Some got out of their cars and stood on the side of the highway. Tunnels running under Sheikh Zayed Road were impassable in some areas. Small cars are especially prone to the flooding. Hafeez Ahmed, a Dubai resident heading to Abu Dhabi for work says, “Small cars will not make it through. I have been stuck on Sheikh Zayed road for more than two and a half hours.” An image of a taxi with water up to its windscreen was widely circulated online.
There was heavy traffic in low-lying Al Quoz and on Sheikh Zayed Road between Business Bay and the Trade Center while in Sharjah there was disruption across the city’s roads. Carrefour in Mall of the Emirates, one of the city’s largest supermarkets, had to close due to shift workers being unable to leave their accommodation block. But the roads near Dubai Parks and Resorts near Jebel Ali and in the Dubai Mall area in Downtown area were among the worst hit.
Flights at Dubai International Airport (DXB) have been delayed, diverted and canceled. And this may continue. The Roads and Transport Authority urged residents to use the metro to reach terminals one and three to avoid heavy traffic around the airport.
Residences are no exception in this deluge. Sabina Hammed, who lives in Emirates Living district eight, had to turn off the electricity when water seeped into her electrical box. “I don’t want a short circuit so we switched off the power in the house,” she said. Flat roofs in Jumeirah Park got waterlogged as the drainage system couldn’t handle so much water. “The rooftop has become a pool,” one resident wrote on the community’s Facebook page.
Mo of Mo Vlogs set out to get his Lamborghini a wash but given how flooded the roads were he had to turn back as he thought driving the supercar past the water is unwholesome. Before they turned, however, his mother was seriously splashed with water.
A live weather chart from global forecast Windy showed the worst of the storm appeared to have passed. While this may be correct and while the flooding has been cleared, some people such as Antonio Abreu, a resident of Discovery Gardens in Dubai, hopes for a permanent solution as he says this happens every year.