Dubai: The general administration for education in Riyadh closed all schools in the capital on Thursday as a major sandstorm built up around the kingdom, Saudi media reported.

Schools in Riyadh, Dir’iyya, Huraimilaa, Thadiq, Rimah, Darmaa and Al Muzahimiya will be closed. The Al Muzahimiya branch of King Saud University will also be closed.

The general directorate for civil defence warned residents of Hafr Al Batin, which was reportedly affected by the sandstorm, to take extra caution and follow safety instructions.

Officials called on residents to stay home, saying that visibility was expected to drop in Jawf, Hael, the Northen Borders Area, Qassim and Riyadh, following which the sandstorm was expected to move southwards towards the Eastern Region and Najran.