UAE: With rain, hail forecast, Al Ain residents shield cars with cardboard, yoga mats

Some are also preparing for longer shifts as part of measures to ensure public safety


SM Ayaz Zakir


Nasreen Abdulla


Waad Barakat

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Published: Fri 8 Mar 2024, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Fri 8 Mar 2024, 5:57 PM

With memories of ice pellets smashing car windows and denting hoods still fresh in their minds, Al Ain residents are not leaving anything to chance this time. They will be 'extra careful', they say, as UAE authorities warned of heavy rain, hail and thunderstorms this weekend.

“During the last hailstorm, my neighbour’s brand new car was damaged so badly. He lost around Dh25,000 on the vehicle," said resident Semeer Moyin.

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“So, now, everyone is being extra careful with their vehicles. I have only one shaded parking. So, I have covered my other car with a yoga mat. I just hope that is enough.”

His neighbours also put together makeshift shields for their cars. Some used cardboard boxes and carpets, Moyin said.

Heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail are likely to hit the country from Friday evening (March 8) until Sunday noon (March 10). Floods are expected in some areas, too.

For Heba Hussain, who recently moved to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi, the whole experience the last time it rained was 'unnerving'.

“Luckily for us, the storm didn’t cause much damage except for a few leaks here and there. Our car sustained some damage, but they were only dents,” she said.

“We will keep the cars in the basement to shield them from hail and rain. My husband will work remotely this time,” Hussain said.

“I can see some people from the neighbourhood have covered their cars as they don't have a basement like our building."

Hospital worker Semeer said he is expecting a long day at work starting Friday. “Our management is preparing our schedule for the weekend to make sure adequate staffing is available in case of emergency,” he said.

While those ice pellets could cause serious damage, Semeer said there's also beauty in them. “Last week, after the storm, I drove my family around to see the city looking so pretty,” he said. “My children enjoyed it.”

Now that they are fully ready for a hailstorm, Al Ain residents would be able to enjoy the view — without the headache of having to deal with the costly aftermath.

“Even if people knew about it the last time, they didn’t expect it to be that intense. This time, people are prepared,” said Hussain.


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