Dubai carriers resume normal operations after floods

Published April 21, 2024
BUSES are parked in a flooded parking lot in Dubai, on Saturday.—AFP
BUSES are parked in a flooded parking lot in Dubai, on Saturday.—AFP

RIYADH: Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates and sister airline flydubai have restored normal operations after heavy rains caused severe flooding across the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, the airlines said on Saturday.

Emirates cancelled nearly 400 flights and delayed many more as a result of a record storm that hit the desert city of Dubai on Tuesday, said a statement released by the airline’s president, Tim Clark.

Due to the impact of the storm, the airline suspended check-in for passengers departing from Dubai and halted its transit operations through Dubai International Airport, a major global travel hub, leaving thousands of travellers stranded.

The airport has struggled to return to normal operations after the storm flooded taxiways, forcing flight diversions, delays and cancellations.

Flydubai also returned to its full flight schedule from the airport’s Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 on Saturday following the weather-related disruption, a spokesperson for the airline said.

Clark said Emirates had provided 12,000 hotel rooms and 250,000 meal vouchers to customers who were affected. He added it would take days to clear the backlog of rebooked passengers.

The UAE has suffered the impact of the flooding for days, with roads between the city and Abu Dhabi still partially under water as of Saturday. In Abu Dhabi, some supermarkets and restaurants faced product shortages, unable to receive deliveries from Dubai.

Researchers have linked extreme weather events such as Tuesday’s storm to climate change and anticipate that global warming will lead to higher temperatures, increased humidity and a greater risk of flooding in parts of the Gulf region.

A lack of drainage infrastructure to cope with heavy rains in countries such as the UAE can put them at particular risk of flooding.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

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