Armageddon on Al Qudra

It’s been an unusual day, to say the least.

Children in the UAE might have squealed with delight as they paddled up and down the street in inflatables and sailed boats to the supermarket (no joke) …

kids having fun in rain

Lucky kids: School’s out again tomorrow

But me – well I lost my mojo somewhere on Al Qudra street – about an hour into the apocalyptic traffic jam attempting to inch its way through biblical floods last seen by Noah.

It all started at 4am, with an enormous crash of thunder. Lightning sliced the sky. But even then, the morning school run was fine – just a disappointed son to contend with following the cancellation of his school trip. Actually, he was more worried about the fact his lunch was in a plastic Spinneys bag (as requested by the teacher). “Mummy, go home and get my lunch box!” he pleaded while I tried to stop him lobbing his sandwiches away.

The sky quickly turned a scrubbed pigeon grey then a really ominous granite colour, sort of slated and solemn. Daylight made only a feeble attempt to break through the billowing cloud cover. The rain, when it came, drummed wildly on our roof. It lashed the windows, cascaded off our garage in a waterfall, and collected in huge ‘ponds’ that within an hour or so all joined up to form floods the size of lakes.

The schools closed, I can’t even begin to imagine what happened at the airports. Buildings flooded, structural damage occurred and the traffic snarled up until it grid-locked so badly I took a big chance and swerved onto sand in the hope of ploughing my way through a building site to escape the Armageddon on Al Qudra (I made it!).

This Dubai driver didn't make it

This Dubai driver didn’t make it


The children, meanwhile, went out in their swimming gear. A neighbour took his canoe for a paddle round the compound. Ironically, the water cut off in our villa – I did see the funny side of this, given that outside it was knee-deep, with waves rippling up the path every time a car swished by, wheels hissing. The lights started flickering … “Picked a great week for our winter-sun holiday, didn’t we?” said my Mum as she Facebooked photos of the rain for the amusement of British friends and family.

Her last photo, of tankers vacuuming up the rainwater through giant straws, was captioned: “Now we’ve seen it all!”

Dubai really doesn’t do rain.

Keep safe tomorrow everyone.

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About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
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4 Responses to Armageddon on Al Qudra

  1. Parisa Khan says:

    Well it sure was armageddon yesterday and it broke havoc in the city though it was as bad in the capital. Went out in evening and the roads were clear no flooding seen. Since the storm came to an end yesterday there is some kind of quiet outside. So quiet not the peaceful kind though. It didn’t rain since then. Home again today as its school holiday.

  2. MsCaroline says:

    Ha! The first summer we moved to Korea, we had torrential rain, which caused the Han River to flood – rain’s not unusual in the summer, but flooding this bad is (or so we later learned.) The day our car was delivered, MrL picked it up at the docks and drove it to work, parked it in the lot and went into the office. Less than an hour later, he heard and announcement (in Korean) over the PA system and saw a huge group standing by the window. Joining them, he saw that there was a rapidly-rising pool of water in the parking lot – approaching our car. He ran outside and splashed his way into the car just as the first waves were gently lapping over the bottom of the door frame. We thought we’d got to it in time, but apparently more had seeped into it than we’d realized. Even after cleaning, it smelled like ‘Asian River’ for about 6 solid months.

    • Oh nooo! And a brand new car too! MrL must have had such a shock when he saw it – and I can just imagine the smell!!!! I just saw a video of me backing the car out into the flood to pick up the kids. DH (in the US) had told me on the phone, ‘Don’t get flood water in the exhaust pipe.’ But all I could think was, I can’t see the exhaust pipe! How do I know?!!! It was the most rain in March since 1982 apparently.

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