On Saturday, flooding and heavy rain resulted in chaos for travellers in the United Arab Emirates with roads being closed and a number of flights being cancelled.

One of the busiest airports in the world, Dubai International, had to cancel, delay and divert many flights, according to Dubai Airports.

Delays carried on throughout the day and some had to be diverted to the nearby Al Maktoum Airport or cancelled altogether.

Cloud seeding, the programme intended to enhance rainfall in the UAE, started on Thursday and carries on until Monday, according to the National Center of Metereology (NCM).

From Thursday, the NCM has fired as many as 425 cloud seeding chemical flares into the clouds, with a further 152 coming from a cloud seeding generator on the ground.

Social media images and video footage have demonstrated that part of the runway area of the airport was actually underwater for a time.

A number of Emirates flights travelling to and from Dubai were delayed, with some flydubai flights also delayed or diverted elsewhere.

The heavy rain reached 150mm per hour for around two and a half hours in Dubai on Saturday.

Customers are still being advised to make direct checks with airlines in order to get more specific information about their flights and to give themselves more time than usual to reach the airport.

The floods caused other problems in Dubai, blocking off the main Sheikh Zayed Road that runs throughout the city.

The popular Dubai Mall of the Emirates suffered a power blackout because of the rainfall, while large areas of a traditional Fujairah market were destroyed by the storms.

Parking canopies, road barriers, signboards and external doors were destroyed, says the Commander in Chief of Fujairah Police, Major General Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghanem.

The rain continued on Sunday with lightning seen over Sharjah even before the sun had risen and Dubai and Al Maktoum Airport reporting thunder.

Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport also experienced some light rain.

The intercity ferry service between Sharjah and Dubai was also suspended by the latter’s Roads and Transport Authority because of the poor weather conditions.

More than 3,000 Dubai Municipality employees were deployed all across Dubai to try to clean up the city.

As seen this weekend, flights can be cancelled because of bad weather, and while this is always inconvenient for travellers, it can sometimes also be financially costly.

The best way to ensure that flight delays and cancellations do not have a negative financial impact on travellers is to take out travel insurance prior to any journeys.

There are a number of other reasons to take out travel insurance coverage.

Travel insurance can be used to financially cover the cost of luggage that is lost en route or valuables that are misplaced or stolen.

Some forms of travel insurance can even be used to cover any medical expenses that may arise from unexpected accidents or illnesses that strike while travellers are away from their home countries.


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