Wowed by snow in Oman? 5 times UAE turned into a frosty winter land

From frozen-over pond to -5.7°C temperature, the Emirates has had its share of icy sceneries and adventures

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Sahim Salim

Published: Tue 24 Jan 2023, 12:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 May 2023, 12:37 PM

It’s snowing about 400km away from the UAE, and we can’t help but wonder if that frosty goodness will grace the Emirates.

Snow has been blanketing Jebel Shams — one of Oman's highest mountains — since Monday evening.

Times of Oman quoted a Met official as saying that the mountain recorded a low of -1°C. Google's weather platform recorded 2°C at 9.30am on Tuesday. This is about 1°C lesser than the lowest temperature recorded in the UAE on the country’s highest mountain. According to the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), Jebel Jais reached a chilly 2.8°C at 5.15am this morning.

The country is expected to receive rains of different intensities along with lightning and thunder over the next two days. It remains to be seen whether the rains will freeze over to cover parts of the UAE in white — as has happened previously. Here, we round up five instances when the Emirates resembled a snowy wonderland:

>> February 3, 2017: When UAE recorded its lowest temperature

The brown rocky terrain of the Jebel Jais was buried deep beneath a blanket of white snow as the country recorded its lowest temperature of -5.7°C. This came in an NCM video that highlighted the lowest temperatures recorded since 2003:

>> January 26, 2009: 20cm snow covers Jebel Jais

Can you believe that back then, the UAE’s highest peak was covered in 20cm snow? A cold spell saw temperatures dip to -3°C as snow hugged a 5km area.


>> January 15, 2020: Building an Arab snowman

When life gives you snow, make snowmen! This Netizen did just that in 2020 when it last snowed on the Jebel Jais:

>> January 12, 2021: When a KT photographer played with ice in UAE’s coldest spot

Khaleej Times’ Muhammad Sajjad experienced icy weather for the first time in the UAE. In 2021, he drove to Raknah in Al Ain in search of ice in the desert. The obscure spot recorded near-zero temperatures multiple times, resulting in icicles and thin sheets of ice.

>> February 7, 2019: It was so cold that a pond froze over

Muddy water ponds are common on UAE mountains. This is what it looks like when the chocolate-coloured water body freezes over:

Yes, back in 2019, it was so cold that the pond’s surface turned into an icy sheet.


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