SHAQFAQNA – Sandstorms have caused mass disruption and even car crashes in areas of the Arabian Peninsula, wreaking havoc at large important airports.
Flight carriers have warned travellers to check information regularly as sandstorms continue to affect services in Middle Eastern hubs.
At least 12 departures and nine arrivals have been cancelled at Dubai’s main international airport with Emirates and British Airways reporting delayed flights from London.
Dubai’s famous skyline has been completely blotted out by the fog.
Migrant laborers, some wearing face masks, work on a construction site during a sandstorm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A Dubai metro train is seen driving amid a sandstorm that engulfed the city.
The street view amid a sand storm in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The sand storm originating from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia hit Abu Dhabi on Thursday, although the city’s airport is said to be functioning normally.
- “Last time, I have seen [a storm], it was not up to this,” said one Dubai resident. “I felt very bad, and I hear that there were some accidents already on Dubai’s roads.” Visibility has been reduced to 500 metres.
Flights were also disrupted in Saudi Arabia, according to the state’s Civil Aviation Authority.
“According to followed procedures, domestic and international flights at both King Abdullah Airports of Jazan, Abha, Wadi Aldwasir, Bisha, Sharourah and Najran, have been suspended temporarily starting from Thursday morning until further notice,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted the authority as saying.
Dubai International Airport was the world’s busiest hub in 2014, taking the title from London Heathrow.
“Bad weather conditions persisting across the Gulf region since morning have affected normal operations at Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International (DWC),” Dubai Airports, which operates both facilities, said in a statement.
Some services have returned to normal while others remain delayed.