Fog forces dozens of flight cancellations across UAE

Visibility was as low as 100 metres in some areas of Dubai
Sun 24 Dec 2017 01:08 PM

Thick fog on Sunday disrupted flights at major airports in the UAE as thousands of foreign residents rushed to travel home for Christmas and the New Year.

Dozens of flights were cancelled, diverted or delayed at the three main airports in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

At the Dubai airport, one of the busiest in the world, at least 17 flights were cancelled, as visibility dropped to just 100 metres in some areas of the emirate.

At least another 100 incoming flights were either diverted to nearby airports or delayed, according to the flight schedule at the airport. An Emirates spokesperson said "numerous" flights were cancelled or delayed,  and urged passengers to remain up-to-date on their flight information. 

Dubai airport is a major transit hub, and thousands of tourists are expected to visit the UAE for the end-of-year festivities.

Dubai carrier Emirates Airlines, which has a fleet of over 250 large planes, said it has cancelled 10 flight departures.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, for its part, said it had still not cancelled any flights, but that it anticipates fog-related flight disruptions over the coming days.

The fog has engulfed most of the country since Friday, but it intensified overnight as relative humidity soared to 95 percent amid cold winter weather.

Police warned motorists to be extremely cautious when driving in the fog, which the UAE weather centre has said is likely to continue until the end of the day.

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