At least one dead after heavy rains trigger flash floods in UAE

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Authorities in the United Arab Emirates were assessing damage and clearing debris on Wednesday following torrential rains that left at least one person dead and inflicted extensive damage to property.

The national meteorology center reported that Al Ain recorded a historic high of 254 millimeters (10 inches) of rain in less than 24 hours on Tuesday, marking the heaviest rainfall since records began in 1949. The UAE was established later in 1971.

By late Tuesday, the downpour had subsided, but disruptions persisted into Wednesday. Emirates airline temporarily suspended check-in services for passengers departing from Dubai International Airport until midnight. The airport, among the busiest globally, experienced significant delays and diversions of flights, affecting crew schedules and operations.

“We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions,” the airport stated on X, a social media platform.

Emirates airline indicated that while transit passengers would continue to be processed, both departures and arrivals could face delays. The airport’s website listed extensive delays for several flights.

Local media reported that flash floods claimed the life of an elderly Emirati man in his 70s in the Ras Al Khaimah emirate in the country’s north when his vehicle was swept away on Tuesday morning.

Adjacent Oman also suffered severe impacts from the storms, with 19 fatalities, including school children, after three days of continuous rain. Omani media displayed images of flooded areas and warned of more rain on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in Dubai, skies cleared, but roads remained quiet as the government mandated remote work for its employees and closed schools for a second day.

Social media posts and local reports highlighted significant structural damages across the UAE, including collapsed roads and homes overwhelmed by floodwaters. Videos from Tuesday showed inundated roads and parking lots, with vehicles fully submerged. Sheikh Zayed Road, a major 12-lane highway in Dubai, was partially flooded, causing extensive traffic delays.