World's most luxurious airport flooded after historic rain

By AFP   April 16, 2024 | 11:35 pm PT
World's most luxurious airport flooded after historic rain
Dubai International Airport in a file photo. Photo by AFP
Dubai International Airport diverted scores of incoming flights on Tuesday as heavy rains lashed the United Arab Emirates, causing widespread flooding around the desert country.

The world's busiest air hub for international passengers, which was also voted as world's most luxurious by British travel insurance provider AllClear, confirmed a halt to arrivals at 7:26 p.m. before announcing a "gradual resumption" more than two hours later.

Earlier the airport, which had been expecting more than 100 flight arrivals on Tuesday evening, took the equally unusual step of briefly halting its operations in the chaos caused by the storm.

Dubai, the Middle East's financial center, has been paralysed by the torrential rain that caused floods across the UAE and Bahrain, and left 18 dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday.

Dubai airport operations were suspended for 25 minutes in the afternoon before resuming. Unconfirmed images on social media showed planes taxiing across an apron flooded with standing water.

Departure flights remained in operation during the evening but were plagued with delays and cancellations. Access roads to the airport were also badly flooded.

Dubai International Airport is flooded after heavy rains, April 2024. Video by X/InsiderPaper

Similar scenes were repeated across Dubai and elsewhere in the UAE as the oil-rich Gulf state, better known for its arid climate and intense summer heat, reeled from the storm.

Both the Oman and the UAE, which hosted last year's COP28 UN climate talks, have previously warned that global warming is likely to lead to more flooding.

Friederike Otto, a leader in the field of assessing the role of climate change on specific extreme weather events, said it was likely that global warming played a part.

"It is highly likely that the deadly and destructive rain in Oman and Dubai was made heavier by human-caused climate change," said Otto, of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London.

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