Rare snowfall and arctic winds up to 80km strikes the UAE, as temperatures drop to -5 degrees over the weekend.
Social media shows Emiratis enjoying the rare snow in Ras Al Khaimah, but not so much enjoying the gale-force winds in Dubai.
During an unprecedented temperature drop in the UAE, some areas have reported up to four inches of snow and 80km arctic winds over the weekend.
The Temperature Drop
The temperature dropped to minus five degrees Celsius in the mountainous Ras Al Khaimah over the weekend.
According to the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, this left the usually hot and arid area covered in up to four inches of snow.
The extreme weather reportedly subsided and temperatures of around 10 degrees are expected over the following few days.
On Friday, the city of Dubai witnessed gale force winds that ripped through city. According to local media, the winds ended up toppling a crane on the main motorway and sparking a fire that injured one person and destroyed three cars.
The temperature in Dubai is expected to remain above 20 degrees Celsius for the upcoming week.
UAE’s Reaction to the Weather
The last time heavy snow was recorded in the region was in 2009, when 8 inches of snowfall fell on Jebel Jais.
Social media was flooded with pictures and videos of Emiratis having snowball fights, building snowmen and tobogganing on Jebel Jais mountain on the UAE-Oman border.
Emiratis usually see some light snow each year in that region, but rarely ever see such heavy snowfall.
According to UAE’s The National newspaper, the weather was so rare that the “local Arabic dialect lacked the words to describe it.”
However, in Dubai, the reactions were not as jolly. Parts of the Tour of Dubai cycling race were cancelled as a precaution.