UAE: Employees brave heavy rain and traffic, get soaked on way to work

Commuters booking cabs experience a threefold increase in fares as waterlogging blocked some roads

by

Angel Tesorero

/

Nasreen Abdulla

/

Waad Barakat

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A resident uses umbrella to protect herself from rain on Monday morning. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad
A resident uses umbrella to protect herself from rain on Monday morning. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Mon 12 Feb 2024, 11:24 PM

While authorities have urged private companies to consider flexible working options, some employees reported to offices on Monday morning despite the inclement weather.

"I'm actually an hour late to work, and I was considering working from home, but my boss told me there are so many things, including reports, that have to be finished today," Lubnah, a resident of Al Furjan who works for a bank, told Khaleej Times.

"The Dubai Metro is working as usual, but I couldn't book a taxi from the station to the office," Lubna added. Some morning commuters struggled to cut through waterlogging and struggled during rush hour.

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Residents navigate through a flooded road in Sharjah as heavy rain hit UAE on Monday morning. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Residents navigate through a flooded road in Sharjah as heavy rain hit UAE on Monday morning. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad

Another resident said her usual taxi booking hiked more than three times because some roads are impassable. "The usual 2.2km travel from home to work would usually cost me Dh12, but now they're priced at Dh36 and Dh45. And no cabs are accepting my bookings," said Sudanese expatriate Samirah, who has been waiting more than one hour to book a cab.

KT Photo: Shihab
KT Photo: Shihab

“I advise those coming to work to wear boots because shoes are soaking wet. I had to return home to change my shoes after they got completely wet,” said Faisal, another Dubai resident who works at Media City.

Those who usually go to work with their e-scooters regret bringing their last-mile mobility ride as roads are flooded.

Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

Some motorists were stuck on the road for hours. Kabir, who works in Jumeirah, said, “The road heading towards Jumeirah Madinat from Al Barsha has turned into a shallow swimming pool. The five lanes have been reduced to one because of flooding.”

A day in the office

For IT professional Mohammed A, it was a day in the office. “I had hoped that my company would let us work from home, but there was no such communication,” he said, adding: “I work in Al Quoz, which is quite low lying, so I faced a lot of water pools and traffic on the way.”

Water tankers outside Burj Al Arab pumping out water from submerged roads. Photo: Nasreen Abdulla
Water tankers outside Burj Al Arab pumping out water from submerged roads. Photo: Nasreen Abdulla

Meanwhile, some attendees at the ongoing World Governments Summit said it took more than one hour to cross a 2kms stretch. Marwa, who parked her car at the Dubai Police Academy, said she was stuck on the shuttle bus. “There was heavy traffic on the way to the venue at Madinat Jumeirah. The road outside the police academy was flooded, and only one lane was accessible. From the academy to the venue, it took me 1.5 hours. I eventually decided to walk from the bus.”

Outside Mashreq Metro Station. Photo: Waad Barakat
Outside Mashreq Metro Station. Photo: Waad Barakat

Stuck at home

Some parents working from home have another dilemma, as nurseries were closed on Monday. Rahima, a working mother in Sharjah, said, “Today, I found myself scrambling to rearrange my schedule and find alternative arrangements for my little one because her nursery was also closed.”

Incessant rains

Waterlogging on a road in Sharjah after Monday morning rain. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad
Waterlogging on a road in Sharjah after Monday morning rain. KT photo: Muhammad Sajjad

According to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), most part of UAE “continues to be affected by the state of atmospheric instability today with the continuation of rain until the night hours of Monday”

“The situation deepens again tomorrow morning early with the formation of cumulus clouds accompanied by heavy rainfall in different regions of the country, accompanied by downdraft winds sometimes up to 70 km/h.

“The amounts of clouds gradually decrease from afternoon tomorrow and the chance of rain decreases at night.”

(with inputs from Ruqayya AlQaydi)

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