The tarmac at Dubai airport looked more like a lake
The tarmac at Dubai airport looked more like a lake

Dubai: Homes, roads and airport flooded after heavy rainfall

Flights arriving into Dubai airport - the world's busiest for international travel - are being temporarily diverted this evening to other locations as the city-state is hit by major flooding after heavy rainfall.


More than 120mm (4.7 inches) of rain-soaked Dubai on Tuesday, which is the typical yearly average in the desert nation - with more expected in the coming hours.

Homes and roads were flooded and partially submerged cars were left abandoned.

The tarmac at Dubai airport was also flooded as planes made their way around what looked more like a lake.

Cars hit by flooding in Dubai. Pic: Reuters

Earlier, it was announced airport operations were suspended for 25 minutes due to the bad weather, with at least 21 outbound and 24 inbound flights cancelled during the day, and three flights diverted to other airports.

Despite the disruption, the airport said departures are continuing to operate.

Lightning flashed across the sky, and it sometimes touched the tip of the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, a federation of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah - but it happens periodically during the cooler winter months.

Many roads and other areas have insufficient drainage due to the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

A car drives through floodwater on a road following heavy rain in Dubai. Pic: Reuters

Police and emergency personnel were seen driving slowly through the flooded streets, and tanker trucks were sent on to the streets to pump away the water.

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, at least 18 people have died in neighbouring Oman following recent heavy rain.

The victims included 10 schoolchildren and an adult who were swept away in a vehicle.

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