Dubai: Traffic crawled to a standstill in many parts of the UAE on Monday morning, while some flights experienced delays and schools shut their doors, as rains lashed across the country.
Commuters driving in and out of the emirate faced heavy traffic after a number of main roads remained flooded with water.
The heavy downpour on Monday morning caused schools to close down as the number of accidents and traffic snarls gradually increased as the day wore on.
Motorists in Sharjah found themselves gridlocked in traffic as the city came to an almost complete halt, with transport buses and school buses attempting to cut their way through traffic.
Emirates Airline confirmed that some flights into and out of Dubai International Airport have been delayed due to bad weather conditions, and flyers were advised to check with their carrier for the latest updates.
“Due to adverse weather conditions in the UAE, a number of Emirates flights into and out of Dubai have been delayed. Customers are requested to check the status of their flights on emirates.com for latest updates on departure and arrival times of their flights,” the airline said in a statement.
Authorities urged motorists to take extra caution and reduce speeds when navigating wet passageways and highways, to avoid more accidents.
“We request the motorist to drive carefully and safely due to rain on some internal and e xternal parts of Dubai,” the Dubai Police said on Twitter.
Traffic tends to slow down during rainy weather, as drivers reduce speed in slippery conditions and poor visibility. Driving at high speeds can cause motorists to lose control of the vehicle.
“Reduce speed during heavy rain to avoid any hydroplaning,” the Dubai Police advised.
As of 7.11am Dubai Police reported the first traffic accident on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed (MBZ) Road before the exit of Mirdif City Centre, which caused major delays in the direction towards Sharjah.
Both directions of Al Ittihad Road were clogged with traffic, as well as Al Taawun Road and the area of Al Khan.
During the early morning rush hours, several accidents occurred in some areas in Dubai, while motorists in many parts, including Sharjah, were caught in very long tailbacks.
Three accidents were also reported on Shaikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali, adding further burden to traffic in the direction of Abu Dhabi.
Another accident also happened near the Green Community Village, while a wave of vehicles left Al Khail Road blocked.
Motorists driving towards Abu Dhabi were stuck in heavy traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road as of 9:23am, with tailbacks stretching more than 7.26 kilometres, from the interchange near the Jebel Ali Industrial Area all the way to Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
A road crash was also reported in the area near the Danube Metro Station, according to Google Maps.
Heavy traffic was likewise causing delays on Shaikh Zayed Road, from Mall of the Emirates to the area near Noor Bank Metro Station, as well as in other locations, including the Dubai-Sharjah Road, Ras Al Khor Road and sections near Dubai Mall, Zabeel Park, Dubai Garden Glow, Al Jaffliya Metro Station and Dubai World Trade Centre, among many others.
At 10:38am, another multi-vehicle accident was reported on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, after the Labour Camp bridge towards the direction of Abu Dhabi.
Several locations in Sharjah were also experiencing very serious traffic jams, including those in the vicinity of Abu Shagarah Park, Cultural Square, City Centre Sharjah, Mega Mall, King Faisal Mosque, Al Majaz and Saif Zone.
Ras Al Khaimah Police urged motorists to slow down during the rain, and cautioned motorists to adhere to traffic rules, not to switch on the hazard lights unless it is necessary, and to drive in a safe and cautious manner to avoid road accidents.
Road authorities and ministries also warned motorists to be vigilant on UAE roads as the number of traffic accidents tend to increase during unstable weather.