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Watch: UAE rain heroes save lives, shelter, transport strangers, move damaged cars, fix leaky houses

Spirit of humanity shines bright amidst rain havoc as residents help strangers

Combo photos showing heroics of some youngsters rescuing a motorist after breaking the sunroof of the vehicle on a flooded road in Abu Dhabi.
Image Credit: Screen grab

Dubai: In the wake of adversity, the true spirit of humanity often shines brightest. Amidst the heaviest downpour in recorded history that inundated the streets of the UAE on Tuesday, stories of incredible courage, compassion, and selflessness of many residents have emerged. Standing together in tough times, these UAE residents have received huge praises for literally weathering the storm with resilience.

With roads transformed into waterways and vehicles immobilised, several benevolent souls stepped in, opening their homes to stranded motorists, helping people reach home, moving damaged cars and fixing leaky houses.

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Car rescue

One video going viral on social media showed a group of men who, upon witnessing people trapped in a submerged car, springing into action.


Braving the deluge, they plunged into the flooded street to rescue the stranded individual. Breaking open the sunroof, they reached out with a helping hand, pulling out a man wearing a kandura and other passengers to safety.

There were also videos that showed how people rescued cats from drowning.

Sheltering strangers

Several residents also opened their doors and hearts to strangers in need, offering shelter, food and solace to those caught in the storm.

Mudon resident Monika Prasad and her colleague were stuck on their way back home from work at Karama. “My colleague Debbie was driving the car, which was our boss’ car. He was kind to give us his SUV because we were scared to use Debbie’s hatchback. But, we couldn’t get on to Al Ain Road from Zabeel area. We tried for a long time and finally when we realised that we were going to be stranded and submerged, we decided to knock on the door of a villa,” said Monika.

Monika Prasad is thankful to the Emirati family in Zabeel area who sheltered her and her colleague after they were stranded on Tuesday night.
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By then, hours had passed and the women were almost in tears. “We thought of requesting the family at the villa to allow us to park in their compound. But, the Emirati family was extremely kind. The woman of the house welcomed us with open arms. They treated us well. After a couple of hours, we thought of trying our luck to get back home once again as we wanted to reach our families who were also struggling with power outages and other issues at home. But, the situation on the roads had worsened and all the roads were submerged. Then the Emirati family called us back. When we reached, she just gave me a hug and told us to stay at her house. I have huge respect for them and have no words to thank them. This was the scariest day of my 16 years in Dubai, but my love for this city has doubled,” she added.

WhatsApp warriors

Many of Good Samaritans joined the rescue efforts through a WhatsApp group started by Indian expat Muneer Al Wafa.

Muneer Al Wafa.

“I created the group around 6pm yesterday after seeing that many people are getting stranded. Many well-wishers joined and in no time that group was full. We received appeals from across the emirates and people in the group helped in various ways. It was heartwarming to see how people opened their houses to shelter strangers stranded in the deluge. Many volunteered to pick up and drop off stranded passengers from the airport and different Metro stations and other areas in Dubai and Sharjah. Because of the overwhelming response, more and more groups had to be created and now we are running the fifth such group with each having more than 1025 members,” said Muneer.

On Wednesday, he created a website for the Rain Support UAE group so that more people in need can benefit.

An active member of the group, Aslam, took charge of food distribution and created additional groups only for that purpose. Several restaurants and families came forward to provide food and water to those in need in several areas where food was not available.

Volunteers, who united through the UAE Rain Support WhatsApp group, with the food packets to be distributed to those affected by the rains in Dubai.
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Transporting stranded people

Another member, Deepak Mohan, was among those who braved the flooded roads throughout the night to collect stranded people and drop them off to their homes or other safe places.

“I was picking up and dropping off people till early this morning. I slept for a few hours and I am back on the streets to do the same,” said Deepak who helped transport around 15 people to safety on Tuesday night.

Those who received help from him through the WhatsApp group included a female doctor and two nurses, one of whom is pregnant. “I picked them up from Barsha. The pregnant nurse lives in Al Khail Gate. But, we couldn’t enter that area in Al Quoz. Finally, all of them had to be dropped off in a safe place in Karama. It took about two hours.”

Deepak Mohan with the stranded Indian mother and daughter whom he dropped off from Dubai International Airport to Karama.
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Kazakh family

An elderly Kazakh couple and their daughter, who are on a visit to the UAE, were also rescued by him. “They were standing in the flooded road near Dubai Mall. That uncle was shivering. They couldn’t speak English properly. But they somehow understood that I was offering them a free lift. Then I dropped them off to their hotel in Mankhool,” said Deepak.

He also helped an Indian woman and her wheelchair bound mother who were stranded after arriving at Dubai International Airport. “It was a crucial task even though the distance was shorter. I picked them up around 2am and it took me around one and a half-hour to drop them off in Karama,” said Deepak, adding that he was thankful to people who trusted him and his driving.

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Rescuing motorists

When hundreds of motorists were stranded on Sheikh Zayed Road in traffic jam due to flooding for several hours, Nasir Amir Qureshi, co-founder of a chauffeur service company, sent out a broadcast message that got forwarded multiple times. The message read: “If you are stuck — just call us, and we will send one of our drivers across.”

Indian expat Raksha Uttamchandani’s 54-year-old mother was one of the motorists hit by nature’s havoc. “She was returning from work. With no sign of movement after four hours, she was desperate for a way home. I decided to call Nasir, and within one hour, he sent a driver to take over her car. The driver came on foot!,” Raksha said.


By 10pm, her mother was able to cross Sheikh Zayed Road, and a friend took her back home safely within 10 minutes. “The driver brought her car back home safely at 1am in the morning. When asked about payment, he took absolutely nothing and said that they did this for humanity. I was lucky that my mother was one of the people rescued by this amazing team. I have saved Nasir’s number as Mom’s Hero.”

Providing free parking

Faizal Bin Muhammed, who also helped rescue several stranded residents including a couple with a 20-day-old baby from DIFC Metro Station to Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), said his firm also provided free parking spaces for residents in Al Ghusais and Muhaisnah 2 areas. “We offered this community support as a small gesture to ease the burden of people needing a hand during tough times. We are happy to have got them covered with free and safe parking at our two centres in Al Nahda and Muhaisnah till Thursday evening,” he said.

Faizal Bin Muhammed, (left) who helped rescue several stranded residents including a couple with a 20-day-old baby, said his firm also provided free parking spaces for residents in Al Ghusais and Muhaisnah 2 areas.
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Fixing apartments

While many battled flooded rooms on their ground floors, several other residents faced leaky apartments and villas. There were Good Samaritans to help such people also.

Jessy Chami, a Lebanese expat who lives in JVC, said her apartment suffered severe leakage from the ceiling. “Many apartments in our building were damaged. Every time it rains heavily, we experience water leakage, despite maintenance. This time, luckily it was not from the electricity box like last time. Still I was scared because there was a lot of water and I have a dog at home. When I went down to the security, they gave me the contact of a neighbour called Fares. He was so helpful. He literally created a way for the water to come from the ceiling directly to the sink,” said Jessy.


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