UAE : Slow Moving Dust Cloud Over Emirates Expected to Settle Down by Tuesday


Dust sweeps across the UAE

Abu Dhabi - AUG 02: The slow-moving dust cloud that settled on the Emirates before the weekend is expected to dissipate by Tuesday.

However, there may be only a brief respite, as more winds are expected to blow towards the UAE from northern Iraq, where the dust originates.

“The problem now is dust is starting again in that area,” said Ahmed Habib, a meteorologist with the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology.

“There is another one coming from Iraq, but we will wait to determine when exactly it will come here.”

Visibility in most parts of the country yesterday was around 1,000m, although it was reduced to 300m in the west. Mr Habib said the lack of wind meant that the dust was suspended in the air and that visibility would improve only by a few hundred metres a day.

“Wind is light and moving to the south-east, so it’s dissipating gradually,” he said.

“When wind is light to moderate, it means very gradual movement.”

The light winds mean that fishermen at least will still be able to take small boats to sea despite the poor visibility, he said.

In the meantime, asthma sufferers were warned to avoid exposure to the dust. “It’s better to keep in the house today,” he said.

Mr Habib also cautioned motorists to be vigilant on the roads.

From Iraq, the haze moved towards Kuwait and over the Arabian Sea and eastern Saudi Arabia, then over Bahrain and Qatar before blowing to the UAE, Mr Habib said.

In Saudi Arabia, hospital emergency rooms were “packed” over the weekend with people complaining about breathing problems, according to Arab News.

The newspaper quoted a nurse at Dammam hospital saying the facility “received children and elderly men and women with choked throats and breathlessness ... many of them with a history of asthma”.

The patients were put on nebulisers to clear their choked lungs.

It followed six fatalities on Thursday in road accidents caused by the poor visibility in the kingdom’s Eastern Region, the paper added.

In Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, a heavy sandstorm flooded hospitals with people suffering from respiratory problems. Health officials said patients complained about shortness of breath and other problems.

Dubai starts evicting villas’ extra tenants

DUBAI - AUG 02: They locked their doors, pulled down the shutters and ignored callers, but it was not enough to stop municipal inspectors from making the first evictions of their drive to enforce the city’s one-villa-one-family regulation.

“Inspectors came this morning and reminded us that we have to move out. We were prepared for this and the family is now moving to International City,” said Abdul Kadir, a resident of Al Rashidiya, whose brother’s family had also been evicted. “We did not expect any trouble, but we were wrong.”

The municipality said that starting this month, it would intensify efforts to uphold the one family per villa rule. Officials say shared villas pose health and environmental risks.

Tenants and landlords involved in multi-family living arrangements face fines of up to Dh50,000 (US$13,000).

In a tour of areas such as Al Rashidiya and Hor al Anz, The National saw several homes with their main doors locked and residents using back doors in an attempt to avoid attention.

Several families sharing villas had indicated earlier in the week that they would use electricity generators if the municipality cut their power.

One resident of Al Rashidiya, who agreed to speak anonymously, said: “We have not had any problem in this area yet but we hear that the inspections may happen here soon.

“There is constant worry about getting an eviction notice.”

More than 5,000 villas have been found in violation of the rule so far and notices have been issued to those villas and their residents, said Omar Rahman, head of building inspections at Dubai Municipality.

“This is an ongoing campaign. People who do not care about the campaign would be fined, whether it’s the landlord or the tenant,” he said. “The inspections will continue to ensure a hygienic environment is created in villas.”

The villa campaign, launched by the municipality last year, forced many families to move out of shared homes.

Notices were put on the doors of some upmarket villas in Jumeirah as well as low-budget accommodation in areas such as Satwa and Al Rashidiya.

The campaign led to protests as families appealed for a delay in the ban and more time to find affordable accommodation.

The evictions and notices dwindled towards the end of last year, with no word from the municipality that it would be taking further action.

With more accommodation now available in Dubai and a longer warning period, the municipality said the time was right to strengthen its campaign, a point Mr Kadir accepted.

“Flats are now available in places like International City for affordable rents,” he said. “People should move out to these places.”

Airline says ‘baby crocodile’ on plane was a desert lizard

ABU DHABI - AUG 03: It did not wreak the kind of havoc seen in the Hollywood thriller Snakes on a Plane, but a rogue lizard aboard a flight to Abu Dhabi was enough to spark a safety investigation, airline officials confirmed yesterday.

The creature – which, contrary to previous reports, was not a baby crocodile – caused panic among travellers on EgyptAir Flight 916 from Cairo when it began darting around the cabin early on Friday.

Reports put the extra passenger at between 15cm and 30cm in length. Yesterday, Wafa al Zahed, the general manager of EgyptAir in Abu Dhabi, suggested that the reptile could have been stowed in the cargo hold before wriggling free.

“Maybe inside the cargo door,” said Mr al Zahed. “In the cargo door there is baggage. Or maybe the animal came from some plant in the aircraft.”

None of the passengers had admitted to taking the creature on board, he added.

Mr al Zahed said the airline’s Abu Dhabi station manager, Mohammed Saeed, had sent an initial report to EgyptAir’s head office in Cairo.

He added that a final report was likely to be released next week. Initial reports described the errant lizard as a “baby crocodile”, but Mr al Zahed said: “It’s not a baby crocodile. It’s not even a crocodile. It was some other animal, I don’t know exactly what, but not a crocodile.”

He said it looked like a desert lizard known colloquially in Egyptian Arabic as a “borse”.

The state news agency, WAM, said it was 1.44am when the EgyptAir cabin crew cornered the creature and alerted authorities on the ground.

It has handed to waiting vets at Cairo Airport and will reportedly be kept at Giza Zoo.


Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: UAE : Slow Moving Dust Cloud Over Emirates Expected to Settle Down by Tuesday

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.