UAE rains: PM Shehbaz lauds Emirati leadership for outstanding flood-management

Pakistan seeks collaboration with UAE to combat challenge of climate change

By Web Desk
April 19, 2024
PM Shehbaz Sharif in meeting with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. — PMO/File

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday hailed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leadership for expeditiously responding to one of its worst rains and flooding that swamped its urban centres, closing down airports, educational institutes, businesses, and highways.

Over 254 millimetres of rain — about two years' worth — fell on the Emirates in days. Official media said it was the highest rainfall since records began in 1949, before the formation of the UAE in the year 1971.


Official media said it was the highest rainfall since records began in 1949, before the formation of the UAE in the year 1971.

The PM, who held a telephonic conversation with President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, congratulated him for his government’s timely efforts to control the flooding-related damages that saved lives.

“The Prime Minister’s call was centered on his admiration for the strong resolve and impeccable efficiency with which the UAE leadership had confronted the challenges that had emerged from the recent rains in the country,” according to the statement issued by the PM Office.

PM Shehbaz commended the UAE President for demonstrating his outstanding leadership qualities and his strong commitment to ensuring the welfare of the Emirati people.

“Pakistan has also witnessed heavy rains in recent days, resulting in loss of many precious lives,” the PMO quoted the prime minister as saying.

He called for collective actions to combat the challenge of climate change and suggested that both countries strengthen their collaboration in the field.

“The UAE president expressed appreciation for the prime minister’s good wishes and reciprocated the warm sentiments for the people affected from rains and flooding in Pakistan,” state-run APP reported.

Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enhance bilateral cooperation in multifaceted areas.

At least one person was killed after a 70-year-old man was swept away in his car in Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the country's seven emirates, brining the total death toll to four, authorities said on Friday.

Passengers were warned not to come to Dubai airport, the world's busiest by international traffic, "unless absolutely necessary", an official told AFP.

"Flights continue to be delayed and diverted... We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions," a Dubai Airports spokesperson said.

Dubai's flagship Emirates airline cancelled all check-ins on Wednesday as staff and passengers struggled to arrive and leave, with access roads flooded and some metro services suspended.

At the airport, long taxi queues formed and delayed passengers milled around. Scores of flights were also delayed, cancelled and diverted during Tuesday's torrential rain.

The storms hit the UAE and Bahrain overnight Monday and on Tuesday after lashing Oman, where 18 people were killed, including several children.

Climatologist Friederike Otto, a specialist in assessing the role of climate change on extreme weather events, told AFP it was "high likely" that global warming had worsened the storms.