In figures: 207,691 calls, 32,000+ personnel, 5,000 vehicles – how UAE restored normality after April 16 rains

Sheikh zayed road after rain
A view of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai after record post-rain recovery efforts.
Image Credit: Ahmad Alotbi/Gulf News

ABU DHABI: The UAE’s recovery from its worst rain storm on April 16 has been a mammoth task. According to a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), their field teams, in coordination with the National Guard Command and other partners, are continuing to deal with the aftermath of the rains to ensure the completion of the recovery process and the full return to normality across all the emirates.

MoI and NCEMA, as reported by WAM, have said that despite the exceptional weather conditions and record rainfall witnessed by the country, emergency teams led by MoI in coordination with NCEMA, National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) and the National Guard, federal and local authorities, are continuing to mitigate the effects of the recent “unprecedented weather event”.

The statement issued a detailed breakdown of the response efforts undertaken by various authorities:

UAE’s rain recovery efforts in figures
Image Credit: Vijith Pullikal/Gulf News

Emergency calls: MoI Operations Centres and call centres received a total of 207,691 calls from the public; working hours amounted to over 168 hours.

Response agencies: A total of 97 entities from the Ministry of Interior, police departments, and local municipalities participated in the response efforts.

Human resources: Over 17,003 personnel from the Ministry of Interior; 15,320 personnel from local departments across the nation; and 558 volunteers from various authorities, including the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, while 161 private sector entities were involved in the response operations.

Equipment and vehicles: Approximately 5,000 vehicles and machinery were deployed to address the weather event’s repercussions.

Flood waters being pumped out of a street in Dubai.
Image Credit: AFP

Evacuations and sheltering: Evacuation and sheltering operations were conducted in coordination with relevant authorities, with nearly 1,828 individuals evacuated and accommodated.

Medical assistance: Medical teams were formed to monitor the elderly and people with disabilities, and mobile clinics were deployed to ensure community safety, particularly in areas experiencing heavy rainfall.

National Ambulance Service: The National Ambulance Service responded to 1,426 calls during the low-pressure system.

National Search and Rescue Centre: The National Search and Rescue Centre received 635 calls during the same period, conducting 14 air sorties and rescuing 139 individuals.

Emirates Red Crescent: The Emirates Red Crescent distributed approximately 3,860 food parcels, provided medicines and basic healthcare supplies, and ensured daily meals for those in need.

Dubai Rains
Emergency field teams deployed by different departments worked round the clock to expedite the rain recovery process.
Image Credit: Supplied

Ministry of Climate Change and Environment: The ministry emphasised the UAE’s commitment to addressing climate change and its impacts, highlighting ongoing efforts to develop solutions in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Rainfall patterns: The Ministry pointed out that the country suffers from water scarcity and rare rainfall, but what happened a few days ago indicates that the unprecedented rainfall is a major change in the weather patterns in the UAE, explaining that every year the country witnesses rainfall to varying degrees, but not to the extent of the recent rates, which indicates that climate changes are increasing, especially in this aspect.

Aviation operations: Despite the weather event’s impact on air travel, the General Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that all UAE airports have resumed normal operations.

Airport response: Airports effectively managed the situation in coordination with response teams, airlines, and airport service partners. They implemented measures such as diverting and rescheduling flights to ensure passenger safety and timely arrivals.

In conclusion, MoI and NCEMA expressed gratitude to local emergency management teams, other partners, community members and volunteers for their tireless efforts in restoring normality and contributing to the UAE’s overall recovery from the weather event’s impact.