Heavy rains, hail in UAE this weekend: Residents told to stay home as road closures, fines announced

The unstable weather conditions are expected to last from Friday, March 8, till noon on Sunday, March 10


Sahim Salim


Waad Barakat

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Photo: KT file
Photo: KT file

Published: Thu 7 Mar 2024, 5:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 8 Mar 2024, 12:01 PM

All roads leading to valleys and mountains will be closed in the UAE this weekend as the country braces for “severe” weather conditions. The roads will remain closed as long as the foul weather persists.

According to the authorities, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and hail will lash the country from the evening of Friday, March 8, till noon on Sunday, March 10, leading to floods in some areas. Strong winds could result in low visibility on the roads. The weather will be at its worst from Friday midnight till Saturday midnight.

The foul weather will start from Al Dhafra and Al Ain regions, before extending to Abu Dhabi and its suburbs. Unstable weather conditions will then prevail over Dubai before pelting Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. The intensity of the weather will ease up by Sunday evening.

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The authorities have urged residents to stay at home and avoid going out except in cases of “extreme necessity”. It advised motorists to park their vehicle in safe places — away from mountains, valleys and water bodies.

The NCEMA also warned about hailstorms, asking residents to adopt relevant safety measures to protect themselves, their property and cars from ice.

A top official warned of fines and other penalties for residents who put themselves or others in danger. Prevailing rules in the country specify fines of up to Dh1,000 for gathering near valleys, flooded areas and dams during rainy weather. Entering a flooded valley — regardless of their level of danger — is punishable with Dh2,000 fine, 23 black points and 60-day confiscation of the vehicle.

During a Press briefing, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) urged residents to comply with instructions issued by the authorities, warning that legal action will be taken against those who don't. In the UAE, obstructing the relevant authorities from regulating traffic; or ambulance and rescue vehicles during emergencies, disasters, crises and rains; and in flooded valleys is punishable with a Dh1,000 fine and 60-day confiscation of vehicles.

Disaster and crisis management teams in each emirate will decide whether to implement remote learning at schools. Each emirate will also decide whether to cancel outdoor and other events happening this weekend.

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) had earlier said that rains, thunderstorms and hail would lash the Emirates on Friday and Saturday. There are chances of rains on Sunday, especially over the country’s east and north. The clouds and rains will gradually decrease by Sunday evening. No rains are expected Monday, with only a fog forecast in the morning.

The country’s police, rescue officials, paramedics and civil defence are fully prepared to deal with any emergencies, the Ministry of Interior said.

Last month, schools and offices went online as residents stayed home when heavy rains and hail flooded several roads in the country. In Al Ain, residents grappled with the aftermath of the foul weather as they dealt with cars and property damaged in the rains.


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