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Watch: Dubai Safari closed due to heavy rain

Dubai Municipality to reopen new wildlife project after weather stabilizes

  • Dubai Municipality has announced the temporary closure of Dubai Safari. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Clint Egbert/ Gulf News
Gulf News

Heavy rain and thunder — the good news (or bad for those who do not appreciate the rain) is that it will continue today.

Shaikh Hamdan enjoys a rainy day drive in #Dubai

Shaikh Hamdan shares weather video on Instagram story

Dubai Police rescue seven people from sea

By Ali Al Shouk, Staff Reporter

Dubai Police rescued seven young men when their boat disrupted in middle of the sea near the World islands, police said.

Colonel Ali Abdullah Al Naqbi, director of the Sea Rescue Department in Dubai Police, said on Saturday night, they were alerted about a boat stranded in middle of the sea due to rough sea and strong winds.

Read our guide on how to safely drive in the rain 

“We send a team to their location and rescued them. We transferred them to the land in Jumeirah without injuries,” Col Al Naqbi told Gulf News.

He said in the last 24 hours, they recorded other two incidents due to unstable weather.

On Saturday night, another boat disrupted near Palm Jumeirah and police helped the owner to return back to the land.

“Another incident for a European man who was in his Kayak boat when faced strong winds and rough sea. His boat flipped in the water and he contact command room asking for help. We send a team and tow his boat to Mina Al Seyahi area. No injuries reported too,” he added.

He urged people to avoid the sea during the unstable weather saying they have nine sea rescue points in Dubai ready to work around the clock to respond to any emergency.

“We advise sea goers to avoid the sea as expectation of strong winds and high waves. People can call 999 in case of emergencies.”

Some vehicles got struck in the water at Al Safa Dubai which was flooded with rain water near Sheikh Zayed road. (Photo: Arshad Ali /Gulf News)


Schools disrupted as heavy rains continue

By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary

Many schools that are yet to close for winter vacations had to close early due to torrential rains that brought water into classrooms and disrupted lessons.

A harried parent from Gems Modern Academy (GMA) said that classrooms had ankle deep water and the school had to close an hour earlier.

Heavy rains in Dubai flood roads and pavements causing disturbance to traffic and pedestrians in the early hours of the day. (Photo: Clint Egbert/Gulf News)

“School buses usually leave by 2.15 pm but left at 1.15 pm as the last period was cancelled. All afternoon activities that usually take place between 2-4 pm were cancelled too,” said the parent who declined to be named.

A school source said that GMA was likely to be closed tomorrow to facilitate cleaning of classrooms where blackboards and benches were damaged, but the parent will have to be in touch with school authorities to know about it.

At Delhi Private School, Jebel Ali, it was business as usual. Principal Rashmi Nandkolyear told Gulf News: “We had regular schools as there was no rain here and our buses have reported reaching on time, dropping students. For tomorrow, regarding school closure we will take a decision depending on the weather and parents will be informed only the same day.

Indian High School CEO, Ashok Kumar said their school faced no water logging or disruption due to rain. “Classes were held normally and we do not intend to close the school tomorrow.

Heavy rains in Dubai flood roads and pavements causing disturbance to traffic and pedestrians in the early hours of the day. (Photo: Clint Egbert/Gulf News)

Elsewhere in Dubai, students of O level schools were lucky as their winter vacations started with effect from this week. In Sharjah, Delhi Private School Sharjah declared winter holidays beginning this week. Principail Vandana Marwaha told Gulf News: “All Sharjah schools closed from today for winter vacations, so students were spared Thursday was  the last working day for classes while administration work continues. So teachers and administrative staff is still at school .”

In the meanwhile  the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) seems to be clearly enjoying the rainy weather and advises parents and students to do the same on their tiwtter handle @KHDA. They tweeted: “  A hot chocolate, a book, a blanket –  our favourite way to spend a stormy afternoon. How are you enjoying the weather?

Some vehicles got struck in the water at Al Safa Dubai which was flooded with rain water near Sheikh Zayed road. (Photo: Arshad Ali /Gulf News)

Dubai Safari closed due to rain

Dubai: Due to unstable weather conditions, Dubai Municipality has announced the temporary closure of Dubai Safari. 


Dubai Safari will resume operations once the weather conditions improve, the civic body said in a press release. 


Since its soft opening on December 12,  the wildlife park has been attracting an unprecedented number of visitors, and the decision to close the park until weather stabilizes has been taken to ensure the safety and security of its guests, staff members as well as animals, it said. 


Municipal workers, tankers deployed to clear flooded roads 

By Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter 

Municipal workers have been deployed across Dubai after several areas were flooded in heavy rains that lashed the emirate on Sunday.

Rain causes traffic delays in Dubai

Heavy traffic jams are being reported on several roads after streets were flooded in the rain in a couple of hours. Some schools closed early and cancelled afternoon classes and after-school activities.

Altogether, a couple of thousands of employees working in different shifts at different departments are keeping a vigil and managing the rain situation throughout the day, a senior official told Gulf News.

Taleb  Julfar, assistant director general of Dubai Municipality for Environment and Public Health Services Sector, said officials had been following up the weather and were on standby for handling the heavy rains expected.

Flooding in Al Wasl area, Dubai.

“Since yesterday, everybody has been on their assigned location. We are following up with pump stations and water tankers. We are also coordinating with Dewa [Dubai Electricity and Water Authority] and others,” said Julfar who is also the Team Leader of Ghaith Dubai team that is in charge of rain management.

He said teams had already been sent to address the flooding reported in different locations.

“They have been on site since morning. We have people working on straight shift till 6pm. Some are on the second shift from 2pm to 10pm and altogether we have a couple of thousands of people working [on rain management].”

Hassan Makki, director of Sewage and Irrigation Network Department, said more than 200 people including supervisory staff, technical staff and field personnel were inspecting and removing blockage on streets and making sure that all the water goes into the designated rain water network.

“All our 110 pump stations are working and we have increased our capacity with some tankers to handle any overflow. Some movable pumps are also being used,” he said.

Heavy rains in Dubai flood roads and pavements causing disturbance to traffic and pedestrians. (Photo: Clint Egbert/Gulf News)

Redha Hassan Salman, director of Public Health and Safety Department and head of Emergency and Crises Team, said emergency preparedness plans had already been in place to meet heavy rain-related incidents.

“All our emergency teams are on duty. They have been preparing by conducting drills earlier. So it is just a matter of activation and implementation of our plans.”

He said all officials and employees have been clearly briefed with their roles and responsibilities. “All of them have also been supplied with the required equipment and tools necessary for them.”

He said the team has been prepared with all the options for manpower and equipment movement.

“Some are on normal duty. They will be sent for handling emergency and people could be moved from different locations if emergency situations demand that. We have prepared all the options. If we require more, we can source out [manpower and equipment] from different departments also. At the moment there is no need for that.”

He urged residents to report only the major incidents related to rain to the municipality’s call centre 800900 which is active 24x7 to receive notifications and complaints from the public. 

Clouds move to Sharjah

By Rabab L. Khan, Community Interactivity Editor

After pouring down in Dubai, the clouds have now moved northeast according to Dr Ahmad Habib, a meteorologist at the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

If you’re in Sharjah, you will be witnessing rain soon!

He said: “Clouds are moving to Sharjah and further northeast. They have passed from Dubai. So, expect rain over Sharjah, Kalba and Khorfakkan now.”

The rain will, however, continue through the day, further going to Fujairah in a few hours.

Mohammad Naushad, a Gulf News reader based in Fujairah, has stated that about 15 minutes ago, it was pouring down in the emirate, too. However, this has caused flooding and roads are now blocked.

He told Gulf News: “There is a lot of stagnant water on the inner roads and roundabouts, especially in the Fujairah town centre. There is major traffic congestion. I work in the Free Zone area and there is a lot of stagnant water here, too.”

Dubai experiencing heavy rains, thunder

Currently, Dubai is experiencing heavy rains and thunder activity. Dr Ahmad Habib, a meteorologist at the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), confirmed that the UAE is still “under the effect of low pressure at the surface layer”. This means that the towering clouds will continue to be visible through the day. But, because of strong winds, the clouds will move.

He told Gulf News: “Over different areas of the UAE, especially in the eastern region, Al Ain and in Dubai at this moment, there is heavy rain and thunder activity. The NCM expects continuity of rain in the next few hours and until tomorrow morning.”

Even though it will be cloudy, and the weather is expected to remain the same, it’ll rain in scattered areas through the day.

Dr Habib added: “There will be instability through the day. Maybe in different areas it’ll rain at different times during the day.”

Residents need to take some precautions. NCM has stated that the sea will be very rough today, due to the rain.

NCM issued a warning: “Do not go out to the sea. Also, the visibility is reduced. Do not approach areas with water floods, especially near the mountains. This is very dangerous!”