Flights to Dubai disrupted as rain hits the UAE 2 weeks after its heaviest recorded rainfall ever

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Several flights to Dubai were cancelled and diverted Thursday, airport authorities announced, as heavy rains hit the United Arab Emirates for the second time in a month.

An airport authority spokesperson said five inbound flights were diverted overnight, while nine arriving and four departing flights were cancelled.

In April, heavy thunderstorms dumped the heaviest rains ever recorded in the UAE in a span of hours, flooding portions of major highways and Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel and a hub for the long-haul carrier Emirates. The airport ended up needing 22 tankers with vacuum pumps to get water off its grounds.

Authorities warned residents to stay home ahead of Thursday’s rain, announcing that they should work remotely, and that schools will hold classes online.

Although Thursday’s rain did not cause major problems or flooding, authorities still issued warnings on Wednesday and took precautions.

The flooding two weeks ago quickly overwhelmed the UAE’s drainage systems, flooded out neighborhoods, business districts and even portions of the 12-lane Sheikh Zayed Highway, which links Dubai and the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi. Many residents lost their belongings when their homes flooded, and many cars were destroyed.