Emirates cancels flights from Dubai as Scots left stranded in wild floods

A storm flooded Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, leaving passengers stranded.

Emirates has cancelled all flights from Dubai in the midst of a “historic weather event” – leaving Scots stranded.

Floods descended upon Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, disrupting flights through the world’s busiest hub for international travel.

Dubai International Airport acknowledged that the flooding had left “limited transportation options” and affected flights as aircraft crews were unable to reach the airfield.

Abandoned vehicles on a flooded highway after a rainstorm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday.Getty Images

“Recovery will take some time,” the airport said on X. “We thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through these challenges.”

STV News understands that many Scots have been left stranded in the airport as Emirates cancelled all flights – including one departing for Glasgow.

The airline halted check-in for passengers departing from Dubai itself from 8am on Wednesday as it tried to clear the airport of transit passengers – many of whom had been sleeping where they could.

Passengers check flight information on screens at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai on April 17, 2024.Getty Images

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused,” the airline said on X. “Emirates is working hard to restore our scheduled operations.”

The state-run WAM news agency called Tuesday’s rain “a historic weather event” that surpassed “anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949”. That was before the discovery of crude oil in the energy-rich nation which was then part of a British protectorate known as the Trucial States.

Damaged vehicles after a portion of a roadway collapsed after heavy rainfall in the Dubai Sports City district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday.Getty Images

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

One reason for the acute rain in the UAE may have been “cloud seeding”, in which small planes flown by the government go through clouds burning special salt flares. Those flares can increase precipitation.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, an arid, Arabian Peninsula nation, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

Recovery operations are under way after the flooding. Supplied
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