3 hrs stuck in flight, heavy traffic to airport: UAE rains disrupt residents' travel plans

Earlier today, Dubai Airports confirmed that the bad weather impacted multiple inbound and outbound flights


Nasreen Abdulla

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Screengrab from video
Screengrab from video

Published: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 8:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Apr 2024, 8:07 PM

Travellers from the UAE faced significant delays during their flights on Tuesday as a predicted thunderstorm lashed the UAE.

Dubai resident Rihea Sadarangani waited inside her aircraft for over three hours before taking off for her destination.

“My flight was supposed to take off at 1pm,” she said, speaking to Khaleej Times. “I boarded at 12.45pm and the flight didn’t take off till around 4.20pm. The thunderstorm was quite heavy during this time, and I could see the rain lashing against my windows.”

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Earlier today, Dubai Airports confirmed that the bad weather impacted multiple inbound and outbound flights. Some delayed flights eventually landed around noon.

Bound to Mumbai, Rihea said her journey to the airport also took much longer than expected. “Usually, the drive to the airport from my house during non-peak hours takes 10 minutes,” she said. “Today it took over an hour. There was waterlogging at almost every traffic signal.”

Battering rain

A video shared by Dubai resident Mohammad Tahir shows rain battering down on the airport runway.

Passengers were asked to directly check with their airline to obtain the latest information on the status of their flight, allow extra travel time to the airport, and use Dubai Metro for smoother transit.

Sharjah resident Umm Ahmed said her family members also faced flight delays due to the rain.

“My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were supposed to fly to Manchester at 7.30am today,” she said. “Their flight was delayed by over two hours but luckily they were able to travel before the weather became too bad.”

Inbound flights

The rain caused delays to inbound flights as well. Chinese Web3 expert Tim Guo tweeted about his experience. “Stuck at the Beijing airport thanks to heavy rain [and] grounding flights in Dubai! Sending good vibes to everyone there,” he wrote.

Rain and thunderstorms hit different parts of the UAE on Tuesday, prompting authorities at the federal and emirate levels to issue safety advisories for residents and travellers.

Dubai resident Zahra said that her family friends have faced trouble as well. “They were supposed to land a few hours ago but their aircraft has been circling in the air,” she said. “At this point we are not sure if they will land today, or their flight will be diverted somewhere else.”


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