Dubai airport resumes operations amid persistent rainfall across UAE

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Dubai airport resumes operations amid persistent rainfall across UAE

Dubai airport resumes operations amid persistent rainfall across UAE

  • Flash floods have claimed the lives of 20 people in Oman and one in the UAE.
  • Some inbound flights resumed on Thursday, but the airport remains barely functional.
  • Overcrowding on surrounding roads has led to airline cancellations and delays.

As heavy rains persistently batter the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries, operations at Dubai Airport continue to suffer severe disruptions. The storm pounded the UAE on Tuesday, causing floods on roads and sections of the busy international airport.

Flash floods have now claimed the lives of 20 people in Oman and one in the UAE. On Thursday, some inbound flights resumed, but overall, Dubai International Airport, a major travel hub, remains barely functional.

Authorities at the world’s second-busiest airport announced on Thursday that they had commenced receiving inbound flights at Terminal 1, which foreign carriers utilize, while outbound flights continue to face delays.

They subsequently announced the opening of check-in at Terminal 3 for Emirates, the single largest carrier at the airport, and flydubai flights. However, officials cautioned that a significant number of travelers were awaiting check-in and anticipated long delays.

Early on Thursday, officials posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, urging people to proceed to the airport only if they had confirmed bookings. Paul Griffiths, the head of Dubai Airport, remarked, “It remains an incredibly challenging time. In living memory, I don’t think anyone has ever seen conditions like it.”

The surrounding roads remain gridlocked due to overcrowding with people attempting to reach the airport.


On Wednesday, airlines canceled about 300 flights, while hundreds more experienced delays. The UAE experienced its heaviest rainfall in recorded history, with up to 259.5mm (10.2in) of rain falling on the usually arid country on Tuesday.

The state-run news agency described the rain as “a historic weather event” that exceeded “anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949”.

Anne Wing, a British tourist accompanied by her husband and three children, expressed, “It’s horrific. “We are squashed in like animals – it is dangerous and inhumane,” they expressed as they hoped to fly to London Heathrow.

She added: “Passengers were shouting and rioting at the connection desk, there were no staff to be seen.”

She said her family had not eaten since lunchtime, and all that had been provided were some “small cartons of water”. Airport authorities report that staff are encountering difficulties in delivering food to stranded passengers because floodwaters have blocked all roads leading to the airport.

As numerous road closures persist, some motorists find themselves trapped in vehicles or marooned on the roadside as water levels rise around them. A private news channel reported that a 70-year-old man in Ras al-Khaimah died after strong currents swept away his vehicle.


On Thursday, emergency services labored to clear the waterlogged roads to assess people trapped in traffic, offices, and homes. Authorities closed the main road connecting Dubai with Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, in the Abu Dhabi direction.

Numerous stranded passengers at Dubai airport have resorted to social media, urging for more information.

Other “very anxious” and disoriented passengers, some traveling with young children, have posted that despite having confirmed bookings, their tickets are not being processed because “check-in/bag drop/passport control [are] not open.”

The airport, which served more than 80 million passengers last year, second only to Atlanta in the United States, cautioned that recovery would take “some time.”

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