UAE: Dust storm likely to hit parts of the country today

It is currently affecting Syria, Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia



By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 23 May 2022, 4:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 May 2022, 6:16 AM

A severe dust storm has hit the Middle East, with flight operations in two Arab countries – Kuwait and Iraq – affected. Photos and videos posted online show a thick orange haze blanketing Kuwait, while those emerging from Iraq showed empty streets as people stayed indoors.

A dust storm is also likely to hit some parts of the UAE on Tuesday. The country’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) tweeted an animated video that showed how the storm is moving towards Saudi Arabia and is expected to hit the western part of the UAE today.

Another storm over the Sea of Oman may hit the eastern coast of the UAE, but its effect would be minimal as most of the dust would settle in the sea, the NCM said.

Last week, 40kmph winds had kicked up dust across the UAE, bringing down visibility to less than 500 metres in some areas. An NCM official had predicted the likelihood of the storm persisting this week.

The NCM’s five-day weather bulletin forecasts dusty weather conditions till Friday, May 27.

Last week’s dust storm did not impact air traffic in Dubai. The storm is unlikely to affect flight operations in the UAE this week either.

In Kuwait, however, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced a temporary suspension of flights at its international airport. The massive plume of dust hovering over the Gulf country reduced visibility to almost zero.

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Iraq closed public buildings and temporarily shut airports Monday as a sandstorm — the ninth since mid-April — hit the country.

The capital Baghdad was enveloped in a giant dust cloud that left usually traffic-choked streets largely deserted, according to an AFP correspondent.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have issued dust storm alerts as well.

sahim@khaleejtimes.com


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