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Torrential rain wreaked havoc at Dubai's airport, with video showing a plane battling across a flooded runway

Polly Thompson   

Torrential rain wreaked havoc at Dubai's airport, with video showing a plane battling across a flooded runway
  • Torrential rain and flash floods brought Dubai airport to a standstill on Tuesday.
  • Dozens of cancellations left some passengers stranded with no way out of the airport.

Dubai Airport, the world's second busiest, was brought to a standstill on Tuesday after torrential rains and heavy flooding created chaos on the runways, and across the city.

All operations were suspended for 25 minutes in the afternoon, and inbound flights were diverted due to the intense storm, an airport spokesperson said.

In total, 21 outbound and 24 inbound flights were cancelled, and 3 flights were diverted, according to the latest update published around 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Videos posted on social media showed lapping waters covering the tarmac and transforming the runway at Dubai Airport into more of a river than a safe airstrip.

In one post, a Boeing 737 operated by Flydubai can be seen battling through the high waters,

All arrivals at the airport were paused on Tuesday night

Passengers affected by the travel chaos were left stranded at the airport as sections of the surrounding roads remained impassable due to high floodwaters.

"It's challenging for departing guests to reach the airport and arrival guests to leave the terminals due to the significant flooding and road blockages have left limited transport options for arriving and departing guests," the airport said in a statement issued on Tuesday morning.

A couple at the airport said that the situation was "absolute carnage."

"You cannot get a taxi. There's people sleeping in the Metro station. There's people sleeping in the airport," they told an AP reporter.

Dubai International Airport, which was recently named the second busiest in the world, was still advising passengers to stay away on Wednesday morning.

"We advise you NOT to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary. Flights continue to be delayed and diverted," the airport posted on X.

Dubai, the Middle East's financial hub, was brought to a standstill by the rainfall with schools closing and many people abandoning their vehicles in the streets as flash floods soaked the city.

Dubai's media office said the flooding was caused by the heaviest downpour the United Arab Emirates has experienced since records began in 1949.

Flooding also hit the neighboring countries of Bahrain and Oman over the weekend. In Oman, nine schoolchildren and their driver died on Sunday when their vehicle was washed away by floodwaters, Al Jazeera reported.


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