Record rain hits UAE, 18 dead in Oman

The Arabian peninsula was hit by unprecedented rainfall and floods, shutting schools and grounding flights on Wednesday, with parts of the desert nation United Arab Emirates receiving 10 inches of rain in 24 hours.

In Oman, at least 18 people have died in recent days because of the severe weather, the country’s National Committee for Emergency Management said.

The storms swamped roadways and created dangerous conditions across the region, a normally arid part of the world that is unaccustomed to intense rain and flash flooding.

Dubai’s airport advised passengers early Wednesday not to travel to the airport unless “absolutely necessary.” Major airline Emirates said in a post on X it was suspending check-in for all passengers at Dubai until midnight Wednesday (3 p.m. ET).

The National Center of Meteorology in Abu Dhabi said the rain in the UAE surpassed anything since records began in 1949, when the area was still a British protectorate and before the discovery of oil.

The Khatm Al Shakla area outside the city of Al Ain, near the border with Oman, received 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours.

The meteorology center called it “an exceptional event in the UAE’s climate history since the start of recording climate data, and it is expected that the coming hours will witness the recording of larger amounts of rainfall.”