Dubai Aiport Descends Into ‘Dystopian’ Chaos After Storms, Flyers Forced To Sleep Like Peasants


Dubai International Airport has descended into chaos following mass disruption brought on by unprecedented storms. With around 300 flights cancelled and thousands stranded, the airport has begun to flood and resources are becoming scarce. As passengers endure severe delays and increasing discomfort, recovery efforts continue amid forecasts of more extreme weather.

Its world-beating first-class lounge that our founder visited only this week now feels like a very distant memory…

‘Unprecedented’ Disruption

Dubai Airport — the world’s busiest international airport and a keystone hub for global travel — faced chaos following a severe storm event earlier this week. On Wednesday, approximately 300 flights were either cancelled or delayed due to heavy rainfall, disrupting travel plans for thousands. The airport, which services over 80 million passengers every year, warned of recovery taking “some time” as heavy rain and strong winds are set to continue.


📍 | | Dubai International Airport | April 18th @ ~2am | -Em1rate$ and Fly Duba1 issued a notice stating that all check in was closed effective until 9am on April 18th. We went to the airport thinking if you have boarding pass it’s chill as the flight wasn’t cancelled. We were confused because the notice said “do not come to the airport” and then saw people getting denied going through security. The reason apparently being that after security there was barely room to stand so they were only allowed transiting passengers through. The entire airport operation is suffering right now because it rained more in one day here than it does all year. A little shocking to me personally though that the most prestigious airline in the world didn’t have any agents in that area (that I could see atleast) to offer any sort of clarification or answer questions. But also they’re likely dealing with 20,000+ passengers right now (Dubai is their hub) so kind of understandable? Missed opportunity for a great PR moment though. We talked to several people and they all had some interesting stories about the ckusterfuxk their trips have been. Anyways we’ll try again tomorrow but today they had 900 diversions/cancellations so getting outta here during IROPS is going to be savage 😂😂 wish me luck 🙏🏽 . #dubai #dubaiairport #dubaiairports #dubaiflood #dystopian #dubairain #dubairains #dubaiuae #dubaiinternationalairport

♬ Paris – 3Hzwave

The National Centre of Meteorology reported 254.8mm of rain in less than 24 hours over parts of the UAE, where rainfall for the entire year usually averages at only 140-200mm. The downpour led to widespread flooding, including inside of the airport, affecting operations and passenger movement alike.

Turmoil In The Terminal

Inside, the situation quickly turned dismal. Passengers have been stranded with little to no assistance as flights came to a standstill. Emirates, the nation’s flagship carrier, suspended all check-ins which ahs only compounded confusion among travellers. Many passengers now find themselves stuck in the airport without adequate provisions or information, with potentially days of the same treatment lying ahead.

Kate and Andrew Golding, who were in Dubai to celebrate a birthday, expressed their understandable dismay, noting that. The absence of staff has precipitated a total breakdown in communication, leaving many to fend for themselves in increasingly crowded and uncomfortable conditions.

“The system within the airport has completely fallen apart.”

Andrew Golding

Sadly, the chaos wasn’t confined to those camping out inside of the airport. On top of the disarray at the main terminal, travellers redirected to Dubai World Central experienced similar issues. With food and water supplies running low, along with many essential services totally disrupted, the atmosphere at both airports was one of frustration seeking closer and closer to all out desparation.

Ongoing Recovery Efforts

As a brief respite in the storms emerges, the focus at the airport has shifted to recovery. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, acknowledged the extraordinary nature of the situation. Despite the challenging conditions, he ensured that mass efforts were underway to restore normal operations and assist stranded passengers as soon as possible…

“It remains an incredibly challenging time. In living memory, I don’t think anyone has ever seen conditions like it… We are in uncharted territory, but I can assure everyone we are working as hard as we possibly can to make sure our customers and staff are looked after.”

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports

However, with more adverse weather on the horizon and the airport still grappling with the aftermath of the floods, travellers and staff alike are bracing themselves for uncertain days ahead. The long-term impact of this disruption on Dubai’s reputation as one of the most reliable transit hubs in the world remains to be seen.


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