aviation

Flights delayed as dust storm sweeps UAE

Some UAE travellers face delays as dust storm continues on Sunday afternoon

15:21 May 13, 2018
An Emirates plane is seen taxiing during the sandstorm at Dubai Airport
Municipality workers clearing out the debris on the road during the sandstorm in Abu Dhabi
People struggle during the sandstorm at Business Bay area in Dubai
Sand on Road
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People cover their faces with masks during the sandstorm in Sharjah
A scene during the heavy sandstorm in Ajman
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Dubai: Blowing dust sweeping through UAE on Sunday caused some slight travel delays and flight disruptions at the airports.

As of 2:20pm, more than 30 inbound and outbound flights at Dubai International Airport were delayed, and departing passengers were advised to leave for the terminal earlier than usual, as the unstable weather conditions are also causing delays on roads.

Delayed incoming flights were from Kuwait, India, Afghanistan and Georgia, among others. Affected departing flights include those bound for Jeddah and Kish.

A scene during the heavy sandstorm in Ajman

“The weather conditions continue to cause some delays to our flight schedule this afternoon. Please bear this in mind as you plan your journey,” budget carrier flydubai said in an advisory posted on Facebook.

A spokesperson for the company told Gulf News that up to 20 of its flights have been delayed so far. Also according to the flight tracker, at least ten other  incoming flights operated by other airlines are also scheduled to arrive late Sunday afternoon.

People cover their faces with masks during the sandstorm in Sharjah

“Due to a sandstorm in Dubai, flydubai had two diversions and up to 20 flights were delayed. We continue to monitor the weather conditions and apologise for the inconvenience the adverse weather conditions may have caused to travel schedules,” the company said.

Emirates maintained that the weather conditions haven’t had any major impact on its flight operations at Dubai International.

Dust and sand have filled the air in the UAE due to unstable weather, and motorists have been advised to take precautions when driving on roads due to poor visibility.

Some motorists said they're having difficulty navigating the roads as blowing dust hampered visibility.

"I was on Al Khail road around lunch time and at one point, the cars had to stop completely since you could hardly see anything due to the thick dust," said one UAE expatriate from Pakistan.