The games of nature: experiencing sandstorm in Abu Dhabi

The nature is above all and there are no doubts for that. During my trips I’ve experienced Northern lights, freezing cold, tropical rains and tiny earthquakes, but nothing was that impressive as the sandstorm, hitting the Arabian Peninsula. It started in Saudi Arabia and very quickly covered all the other nearby countries. The United Arab Emirates were not excluded too.

We just woke up in the morning and all that we could see outside was just a dense yellow fog. Despite the fact that we had the whole day planned, including coming back to Dubai, for a while we got stuck in Abu Dhabi. It wasn’t just a small dust, but a serious sandstorm, which really paralyzed life in the whole country: the wind got stronger, weather temperature significantly dropped, as the visibility was less than 500 meters and in some places even zero roads became almost empty from cars, intercity buses stopped operating and flights even in the major airports got delayed or cancelled. There were almost no people in the streets too, and those minor last survivors – had their faces carefully covered with masks. Taking taxis was also highly not recommended due to possible inexperience of the drivers because the strong sandstorm, which occurred a few years ago, resulted in numerous traffic accidents.

That was our last day in Abu Dhabi and we needed to continue our trip in Dubai. However, we were just sitting in our room and observing this force majeure through the window without having any idea how our day will end up. But then the miracle happened: forecasters were predicting a few sandy days, however as this phenomenon unexpectedly came, it disappeared in a moment too. It took just a while till the sky got visibly clearer, so we immediately packed our luggage and ran outside to grab a taxi for Dubai.

The sandstorm hit over a half a day ago, but even in the evening everything around was covered with yellow layer of sand and many people still had dusty evidence of morning’s occurrence on their clothes.

This natural phenomenon turned our plans upside down, however that was one of the most significant things that I’ve ever seen in my life.

By Gintarė Adamonytė


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