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Tue 2 Mar 2010 07:41 AM

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Heavy rain causes traffic chaos on UAE roads

UPDATE: Reader photos of the flooding in Sharjah, plus video and latest news.

Heavy rain causes traffic chaos on UAE roads
FLOOD CHAOS: Huge puddles of rainwater formed in roads around the UAE causing problems for motorists.

Heavy rain that began overnight and continued into Tuesday brought chaos to the UAE's roads as motorists battled flooding and traffic jams.


click here to see Dubai flood pictures


Sharjah, which was badly hit by heavy rains earlier in the week was again deluged.
See the latest reader photos of the flooding in Sharjah, taken on Tuesday afternoon


Early Tuesday, most of Dubai’s main roads had partial flooding [

click here to watch Dubai flood video

], mainly around junctions, but one car was seen flipped on to its roof on Al Khail Road, eyewitnesses told local radio.

Huge puddles formed in the slow lane of Sheikh Zayed Road and strong winds overnight felled some of the Dubai Shopping Festival lights next to the overtaking lane near the Burj Khalifa. [

more Dubai flood pictures


Listeners to Radio 1 and Radio 2 told the stations there was heavy traffic heading towards Abu Dhabi. One accident was reported about 15km from the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border, with police and rescue crews in attendance.

Three lanes on Emirates Road heading towards Barsha, near Global Village, were closed due to floods.

Roads around Ibn Battuta Mall were badly flooded and were causing traffic to pile up at 6.30am. Callers said it was taking 30 minutes to drive 200m.

While, in Mirdif pools of water across many roads forced drivers to pile into one lane from the usual three.

Sharjah commuters continues to suffer as more rain fell on roads already badly flooded from earlier heavy rain.

Motorists who began their journey as early as 6am were reported to be still on road till 9am. Cars tailed back along Al Wahda street - the main route into Dubai.

Dubai’s met office issued a severe weather warning from 6pm on Monday night.

"From this evening onwards the weather will become unsettled with thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain, strong gusty winds and the possibility of hail,” the met office said at the time.

“Winds may gust to 40 knots (75km/h) with poor visibility and flooding, making driving conditions difficult. This unsettled weather will persist throughout Tuesday."

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joe 10 years ago

WOW, Can we have more rain?

Wills 10 years ago

So what exacctly happened to the "state-of-the-art" drainage system that the authorities were bragging about 2 years ago after those heavy rains?

The Pundit 10 years ago

After more than 13 years of witnessing these floods in the same areas I have to wonder how infrastructure planning is handled in the UAE. After all, wouldn't it make sense to build roads with the correct crowns that direct the water flow to culverts / collection points? Not to mention the waterproofing of roofs (both MoE and Dubai Mall leak like sieves) and various other basic concepts of engineering. If you fail to plan you plan to fail....and I give a great big FAIL to the planning teams around the region.

Joe 10 years ago

Drainage - Posted by Wills, FYI - It was the "state-of-the-art" talk not drainage system that the authorities meant

RBH 10 years ago

Looking at the brighter side, I had too many pending leaves that I ended up deciding to take one during this week to avoid all the newly formed lakes, rivers, seas, and oceans in U.A.E. roads...

Philbert Suresh, Logistics Mentor I--FUN 10 years ago

It is a blessing in disguise that Dubai and the adjoing areas are enjoying abundant water - that could be harvested for effective use. Rainwater harvesting is the gathering, or accumulating and storing, of rainwater.Rainwater harvesting has been used to provide drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation or to refill aquifers in a process called groundwater recharge. Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses, tents and local institutions, or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water. In some cases, rainwater may be the only available, or economical, water source. Rainwater systems are simple to construct from inexpensive local materials, and are potentially successful in most habitable locations. Roof rainwater can be of good quality and may not require treatment before consumption. However some rooftop materials may produce rainwater that is harmful to human health. Household rainfall catchment systems are appropriate in areas with an average rainfall greater than 200mm per year, and no other accessible water sources (Skinner and Cotton, 1992).

ssal 10 years ago

a little bit of rain can cause such havoc. what if rainfall happens as same as in bombay. In sharjah the authorities do cost cutting by strking off most of the drainage cost that is projected by contractors in their blueprint. what is worst is when large pools of water got accumulated near the main junctions and slowed down the traffic by 80%, no action was taken to pump out the water. Even after 48 hours the water was very much there and traffic chaos, traffic havoc, plight of people was also very much the same. Every city in the world has its own problem and weakness and administration is there to quell the troubles of its residents with its swift response. But when admn it self is weak..what to expect..? Expect and accept traffic chaos in sharjah.

Steve 10 years ago

'Sultan Al Muallah, Director-General of Sharjah Municipality, said that the municipality received forecast of rainfall ... and took adequate measures. ... "We could not manage the problem in the emirate due to the large volume of rain. ... The drainage network was also unable to work properly because it was clogged by mud and leaves."' We give you credit for the difficulty because of the large volume of rain, however mud and leaves in the drainage network are not an indication for taking adequate measures. Passing main roads and junctions in SHJ after the weather forecast was known, I did not see any pumps on the side of the road. Preparation in advance should be considerd part of the adequate measures... Good luck for next season.

JigglePop 10 years ago

It does'nt bode well considering Dubai is meant to be a city where the best of the best have been hired from around the world to design and plan the ultimate new modern city, yet it can't even handle a few days of heavy rain and it all grinds to a halt. Time to look at that drawing board again boys!

Mart 10 years ago

I can understand that outside of the major built up areas the roads don't have any drainage (rain is relatively rare here). But even so, the design of the roads is poor - adding a simple camber to the road so that the water drains off to the side would help and not significantly increase construction costs. Instead many of the roundabouts seem to camber towards the middle (presumably to aid driving round them at high speed) so the water accumulates there. Even our cutting edge office at Internet City has no step or slope leading up to the door - they resorted to building a mud dam about 3 feet away from the door to stop the water coming in, and employ a man with a broom who's job is to constantly try to keep the water at bay. Surely someone should have considered what happens when it rains - sure it doesn't rain often, but even if its only 2-3 times a year, do you really want your building flooded that frequently, when all it takes is a slope leading up to the entrance to prevent it?