Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Syed Shayaan Bakht, Staff Reporter
A massive sandstorm engulfed UAE on Tuesday reducing visibility to less than 100 metres. The sudden change in weather condition led the authorities to reduce speed limits on some roads and issue traffic alert.
By 5pm, the busy Al Khan intersection in Sharjah was not visible from the Gulf Today newspaper office, which is at a distance of about 100 metres.The world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) disappeared behind a grey layer of dust.
According to UAE’s National Meteorology Centre (NCM) this weather condition is likely to prevail throughout this week.
Sandstorms blanketed parts of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria and Iran, sending people to hospitals and disrupting flights in some places.
The 828-metre Burj Khalifa, which towers over Dubai and is usually visible across the busy financial hub, retreated behind a curtain of dirt that shrouded much of the country.
In Abu Dhabi, the weather body shared a timelapse video of the duststorm approaching corniche.
The Middle East’s sandstorms are becoming more frequent and intense, a trend associated with overgrazing and deforestation, overuse of river water and more dams.
Experts say the phenomenon could worsen as climate change warps regional weather patterns and drives desertification.