Historic Deluge in Dubai: A Year’s Rain in a Day Submerges City, Claims Lives Across UAE


Dubai: 42 millimeters (5.6 inches) of rain within 24 hours—surpassing the average annual rainfall of 94.7 millimeters typically recorded at the Dubai International Airport.

The eastern emirate of Fujairah bore the brunt of the storm, registering a staggering 145 millimeters (5.7 inches) of rainfall, the highest in the nation. Tragically, the northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah reported a fatality when a septuagenarian’s vehicle was swept away by the surging floodwaters.

Inside the iconic Mall of the Emirates, shoppers witnessed an extraordinary scene as water cascaded from the ceiling, causing parts of it to collapse under the weight of the relentless rain. Similarly, Sharjah City Centre and Deira City Centre sustained damage due to the persistent downpour.

Dubai’s airports, including the world’s busiest international hub, faced significant disruptions as standing water on taxiways halted incoming flights, leaving passengers stranded and struggling to navigate the flooded access roads. The situation on the streets was no less dire, with many drivers finding their vehicles trapped in unexpectedly deep waters.

In response, municipal authorities dispatched fleets of tanker trucks to drain the waterlogged streets and highways. Residential areas were not spared, with reports of water breaching homes.

The spectacle of lightning arcing through the skies and striking the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa added a dramatic visual to the storm’s narrative. The United Arab Emirates, a typically arid region on the Arabian Peninsula, experiences rain infrequently, primarily during the cooler months. The lack of regular precipitation has resulted in inadequate drainage infrastructure, exacerbating the flooding issues.

The weather also affected neighboring countries, with Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia experiencing rainfall. Flightradar24’s arrival delay index assigned Dubai Airport a score of 5, indicating a high probability of flight delays and cancellations.


The heavy rains extended to Oman, where the National Committee for Emergency Management reported the deaths of at least 18 individuals, including 10 schoolchildren, in recent days. The tragedy prompted an outpouring of condolences from leaders throughout the region, highlighting the widespread impact of the severe weather.