Dubai rains provide ‘opportunity to enhance emergency response systems’: Crown Prince

  • Sheikh Hamdan says he is closely monitoring situation to address challenges that emergency response teams faced
Published April 19, 2024

As videos of life in Dubai coming to a standstill due to unprecedented rains fill social media, the city’s Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed heads of government entities to develop a “comprehensive proactive plan to improve preparedness for dealing with unexpected weather conditions.“

During a meeting, he reviewed the progress achieved in restoring normalcy across Dubai.

Life disrupted in UAE as heavy storms take toll

He said the challenges faced were “an opportunity for the emirate to enhance its emergency response systems and create a new mechanism backed by proactive plans to manage various scenarios.”

Sheikh Hamdan said he is closely monitoring the situation along with government entities to address the challenges that emergency response teams faced.

He said adverse weather conditions “have offered an opportunity for further improvement in the emirate’s crisis readiness plans,” adding that that the safety of every citizen, resident and visitor continues to be the Dubai Government’s highest priority.

Meanwhile, late on Thursday, the Dubai media office tweeted that Dubai International (DXB), one of the busiest in the world, would return to full operational capacity within 24 hours.

After severe disruptions, check-in at DXB had reopened for Emirates and flydubai flights operating out of Terminal 3 as of 10am on Thursday.

In pictures: life in glitzy Dubai disrupted after record rain 328

Later that evening, an airport spokesperson said the airport was endeavouring to do its best to support passengers impacted by travel delays, noting that “this was the heaviest rainfall the UAE received in 75 years and we’re doing all we can to get operations back to normal.”

However, due to ongoing disruption, the airport said it would temporarily limit the number of inbound flights until 04:00, 19 April 2024 and was also facing a backlog of baggage due to resource constraints.

Earlier, flights were delayed/diverted and impacted by displaced crew, DXB had said in a statement.

UAE reels for a third day after record-breaking storm

The Dubai government also announced that it had extended remote work for employees across all its entities on 18 and 19 April.

It said this was to help the work of field teams in response to the severe weather conditions.

Additionally, private schools were to continue with distance learning “to ensure everyone’s safety”.

The storms hit the UAE and Bahrain overnight Monday and on Tuesday after lashing Oman.

Climatologist Friederike Otto, a specialist in assessing the role of climate change on extreme weather events, told AFP it was highly likely that global warming had worsened the storms.

Dubai International Airport says it is experiencing significant disruption due to bad weather

Official media said it was the highest rainfall since records began in 1949, before the formation of the UAE in 1971.


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