How heavy rains affected life in UAE on December 11

Rain, affected, life, UAE, December 11, to heavy rain, Sharjah, Dubai, motorists
BRAVING THE FLOODS: At certain points on the Sharjah-Dubai route, drivers had to spend 40 minutes without any traffic movement at all. - Photo by Shihab

Dubai - The usual 90-minute travel period from Sharjah to Dubai's Al Quoz area became a three-hour crawl.


Angel Tesorero

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 11 Dec 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Dec 2019, 11:15 PM

Daily commuters, including schoolchildren and office-goers, on Wednesday faced "excruciating traffic blocks" as the UAE woke up to heavy rain.
The usual 90-minute travel period from Sharjah to Dubai's Al Quoz area, for example, became a three-hour crawl, as motorists had to drive through flooded roads and traffic snags. Other commuters said they were stuck for at least two hours. 
Sharjah resident Tanvir Ahmed, exasperated by the jam, decided to return home.
"I called my manager and told him that I will be working from home because even after being stuck at a Sharjah Industrial Area exit for 40 minutes, there was no movement at all," said Ahmed.
Several residents decided to leave their cars at home and opted for carpooling.
Vinayak Sid, a resident of Muhaisnah, said: "I had to take long detours to get to my destination. My house is near Lulu Village. I went to Mamzar and took the Shindaga Tunnel to get to my office along Sheikh Zayed Road."
Civic bodies worked long hours to clear accummulated rainwater and bring traffic back to normal.
"With the intensive efforts of more than 300 employees, we continue to respond to all reports we receive about rainwater gatherings in different areas across Dubai," the Dubai Municipality said.
Travellers missed flights
A number of travellers who were supposed to fly out early Wednesday morning missed their flights because they got stuck in traffic.
Inder Mohan Singh, a deputy sales manager in a maritime company, got lucky. He left home at 5.30am to catch his flight to Bahrain at 7.30am. "Luckily, I made it in time. I was planning on leaving at 6.15am, but looking at the rains, I decided to leave at 5.30am, instead. Even then, our flight was stuck on the runway for an hour and a half," said Singh.  "We heard from the airport that several commuters had missed their flights."
Schools close early
A few schools in Dubai decided to dismiss their students early.
Schools such as GEMS Winchester School, Dubai, GEMS Our Own Indian School, and the Dubai Scholars School communicated to parents that children will be sent home early, owing to the traffic snags caused by the downpour.
A Grade 12 student at Indian High School in Dubai, Neville D'souza, said: "I left our home in Al Nahda, Sharjah, at 6.50 am. We usually reach school by 7.30am to 8am. Today, I got to school at 9.45am. At some points, we were stuck in the same spot for over 35 to 40 minutes."
Waterlogging disrupts DXB flights
One flight was diverted and several inbound and outbound flights at Dubai International Airport (DXB) were delayed on Wednesday morning because of waterlogging in some parts of the airport brought about by heavy rain.
"DXB (has experienced) operational disruption and waterlogging in some parts of the facility due to the heavy rain (on Wednesday) morning," a DXB spokesperson told Khaleej Times.
At least one inbound flight was diverted to Sharjah International Aiport (SHJ), the spokesperson confirmed. Around mid-day, the situation had improved. with "all flights from DXB arriving and departing with minimal disruption".
"The safety and comfort of our passengers is our top priority and Dubai Airports worked with service partners at DXB to normalise operations and minimise inconvenience to our customers," the spokesperson said.
On rainy days, passengers are advised to allot extra time to get to the airport, DXB said.
As a standard procedure, customers must check for updated flight information on the DXB website or the online portals of their respective airlines.

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