Home » Floods Turn Dubai’s Airport Into A Lake

Floods Turn Dubai’s Airport Into A Lake

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The city of Dubai has suffered an unprecedented deluge this week, receiving over six inches of rain in only 24 hours. The torrential downpour led to widespread flooding. Aircraft at Dubai International Airport have been left wading through deep floodwaters, while vehicles have faced much the same on the city’s roads.

Nestled in the Arabian Desert, Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It usually receives just 3.12 inches of rain each year. That all changed this week, with the city receiving 6.26 inches of rain between 10 p.m. Monday and 10 p.m. Tuesday, local time. That’s over two years worth of rain in a single day.

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With the city’s typical climate being hot and dry, neither infrastructure nor the locals are used to such conditions. The storm saw Dubai International Airport temporarily diverting flights, though departures continued to operate. Wild scenes saw planes taxiing through inches of standing water, kicking up huge spray with their jet exhaust.

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Amazingly, despite the heavy downpour, operations were only fully suspended at the airport for 25 minutes. That’s not to say operations were easy, however. It wasn’t just vehicles wading their way around the tarmac, with cabin crews spotted trudging through knee-deep water on the airport grounds. This was naturally shared on Instagram, set to the tune of Rain On Me, a middling collaboration between Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga.

Similarly, many found it difficult to reach the airport with water inundating access roads. Indeed, much of the city’s road network was underwater as a result of the downpour. As reported by The Hindustan Times, stores, apartments, and metro stations were all flooded, with Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both badly affected.

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As seen on Twitter, the flooding did give one owner of a Porsche Taycan the opportunity to test their EVs mettle in the trying conditions. Amazingly, the Taycan was able to ford the deep waters with a surprising degree of success despite a bow wave flooding over the hood at one point. While the sports car was able to sail its way through over a foot of water, it’s more than likely that it sustained some damage in the process. While many EVs can make it through surprisingly deep water, they generally require careful inspection afterwards.

Authorities in Dubai have not reported any fatalities as a result of the flooding. However, those in neighboring countries haven’t been so lucky. As storms lashed the Middle East, the neighboring nation of Oman saw 18 killed as a result of recent heavy rains.

Ultimately, it’s quite shocking to see planes wading through water on the runway, particularly with engines ingesting water. The latter isn’t something to seriously worry about, as jets are routinely tested to perform while great amounts of water are being sucked into the engine. The water also adds some drag to the aircraft on takeoff, but this can be overcome if the water isn’t too high. Indeed, Airbus tests its airliners in situations exactly like these.

Airbus A350 Xwb Water Ingestion Tests 3 10 Screenshot
Airbus tests its aircraft for their ability to deal with standing water on takeoff.

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Standing water can make it harder for crews to find their runway, however. This is more of a risk for landings than departures. This is likely why Dubai International Airport diverted arrivals while allowing departures to continue.

Dubai is set to see rain easing off now, with temperatures to hit the high 80s later this week. That should help dry the desert city in short order. Residents will appreciate the respite after the record-breaking rainfall earlier this week.

Image credits: Airbus via YouTube screenshot, McFellaFace and AviationBrk via Twitter screenshot

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Chris Wright
Chris Wright
1 month ago

90% of UAE dads to their kids: “well, we needed the rain.”

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago

DXB Seaport.

Frederick Tanujaya
Frederick Tanujaya
1 month ago

My plane from LHR to Dubai is delayed by 6 hours! Supposed to go at 4.50 pm, is currently in queue to get into the gate at 9.25 pm, my connection to Jakarta is definitely going to screw me again.

And i have to attend to a chemistry lab exam at the 19th! 🙁

Studdley
Studdley
1 month ago

Hope they got their sewage system sorted out

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  Studdley

“Doodie!”
“Don’t Touch It!”
“Spaulding, NO!”

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago
Reply to  Studdley

Sheesh. Somebody had to float that joke…

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
1 month ago

Capt. Sully fails to see the problem.

Erik Waiss
Erik Waiss
1 month ago

I would love to see a time lapse of all the water running off the tarmac and how quickly it soaks into the ground (or runs off to the sea).

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
1 month ago

When the F in FOD stands for Fish

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago

Frogman

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Flooded Taycan

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

Seaplane > Landplanes

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker would agree.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

Thank you. A reminder of after-school Tale Spin made me smile.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Ekranoplan > seaplane > landplane
https://www.autospeed.com/cms/a_111531/article

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago

That Porsche driver: “I’ll take the boat less Taycan”

Hillbilly Ocean
Hillbilly Ocean
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

You. You go sit in the car and think about what you just said.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

This precipitation event clearly demonstrates that climate change is complete bullshit and we should definitely not do a damn thing about it.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

/s

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
1 month ago

I mean, yeah aircraft are certified to briefly act as boats, but at some point you’re crossing into “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” territory. Maybe they felt compelled to push forward with operations because of Dubai’s status as a major hub?

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

I suspect there was a certain amount of concern that it might get worse and a desire to get the planes out while they could.
It would be crazy to fly planes into that mess if they didn’t have to.

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

I guess we’ll be watching videos of Tavarish restoring a flood damaged Taycan later this year.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  10001010

No, he needs to continually up the drama.

Restoring a flood damaged A320!

10001010
10001010
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

Why not both? ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯

Last edited 1 month ago by 10001010
TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago

Boeing at it again

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago

Taycan Driver:

Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the battery

10001010
10001010
1 month ago

Well now I gotta go listen to the Pastor of Muppets album.

Last edited 1 month ago by 10001010
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Liam Neeson stars in Taycan 4: This time it’s wet.

Lightning
Lightning
1 month ago

Wow, it looks like the Taycan is waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross floodwaters that aren’t too choppy.

I wonder if it has burned to the ground yet.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  Lightning

How dare they steal Tesla’s IP, Elon should sue

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago

Bit of a shock (badumbump) that that Taycan was silver instead of a nice deep purple.

Fire in the sky…

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
1 month ago

Dum Dum Dum, Dumm de dumm

RataTejas
RataTejas
1 month ago

Slooow motion Walter, fire engine guy.

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