Watch: UAE residents use makeshift boats to buy groceries, travel in flooded streets after heavy rains

Some were asking makeshift boat and kayak operators to transport them as it was quite a challenge to walk through fully submerged footpaths and roads

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 4:12 PM

The UAE residents on Wednesday found unique ways to move around in flooded streets and to buy groceries after the country witnessed record rain in 75 years.

On Wednesday, many people were seen using mops, floor-cleaning brushes and wipers to row makeshift boats and kayaks to sail through the flooded areas of Sharjah. Some of the makeshift boats were made of wood and mattresses to make them comfortable to move around.


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Some people were asking makeshift boat and kayak operators to transport them as it was quite a challenge to walk through fully submerged footpaths and roads.


There were around half a dozen boats – including makeshift ones – that residents of Al Majaz were using to move around the flooded areas. Residents were using these boats to go around to buy stuff from grocery shops as well as for other personal work.

“I don’t demand any specific amount, but if they want to give something is great. I leave it to the people I am helping,” said Mohammed Ismail, 33, who brought a resident on his makeshift boat that wanted to buy food from a grocery.

The UAE recorded its heaviest rain in 75 years on Tuesday, resulting in flooding across many residential districts of Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and others. As a result, the government has encouraged private sector entities to apply flexible work patterns. Residents have not been able to go out in their vehicles because roads are submerged in rainwater.

“I have already transported three people until now in different buildings within Al Majaz,” Umar, 30, said after he dropped two people to their desired place.

Umar was getting requests from many people who were waiting at the entrance of their buildings and wanted to go out in their neighbourhoods.

“Three people are waiting who want me to pick them up from their buildings. I can accommodate a maximum of two people at a time on the boat,” he said as he waved to many people who were calling him for help.

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