Video Of Abu Dhabi Airport Roof Collapsing Due To Rain

Filed Under: Emirates, Etihad

A friend in the UAE alerted me to severe weather disruptions which are shutting down UAE airspace and causing all kinds of flight cancellations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

What’s this severe weather, you ask? Well, it’s raining in the UAE. Light rain right now, according to, though apparently it was worse overnight, with some major thunderstorms.


That’s enough to greatly restrict operations at airports there. Several flights have been canceled, including Emirates flights to Chicago and Seattle, among other destinations.


Just how poorly equipped is the Middle East to handle rain? The storms have caused part of the roof to collapse at Abu Dhabi Airport today:

The rain is expected to continue tomorrow, so if you’re scheduled to fly through the UAE in the next couple of days, keep a close eye on your flight status.

As some of you may recall, it rained in Doha in November, which caused Qatar Airways to close their first class lounge, since there were huge leaks.

Here’s a clip of the airport flooding at the time:

Bottom line

Qatar and the UAE seem to have almost unlimited funds for completely unnecessary construction, but can’t even get basic things right, like rain-proof buildings. Embarrassing…

But the moral of the story is that if you’re flying through the UAE in the next couple of days, keep an eye on your flight status…

Anyone scheduled to fly through the UAE in the coming days, and if so, has your flight been impacted (yet)?

  1. Hello,
    You’re wrong, it’s not light rain, theres a thunder storm.
    Check your weather forecast again.

  2. @Lucky – I live in Downtown Abu Dhabi and trust me this was so severe at like 4 am in the morning we had a hailstorm( Yes, we had hail, here in Abu Dhabi) then a thunder and rain storm so strong that windows were knocked off buildings.

  3. The usual, these countries look all shiny on the surface, but deep down they are still third world.

  4. Ahem, Dubai is flooding at the moment, up to a hip’s height in trade free zones. Enough to cancel flights, eh?

  5. It’s raining enough to flood the streets, Lucky. It isn’t embarrassing, this just isn’t normal weather for that part of the world.

  6. @Ahmed Ali

    Who cares? Over here even the homeless shelter stays dry from thunderstorms. UAE needs to learn how to build roofs LOLLLL.

    It’s like Christian says. Shiny on the outside but deep down it’s garbage.

  7. @David building roofs is one thing, but getting rid of the water is an another problem. The UAE government wants this to happen. They want rain so that they can create pure water from them

  8. Not sure I’d consider that as having the roof collapse. I work in commercial property management and that’s the ceiling tiles getting overwhelmed with a roof leak from the actual roof above is and failing, not the actual roof collapsing. There would have been some serious damage and possible injury and death had the actual roof structure collapsed.

  9. @David building roofs is one thing, but getting rid of the water is an another problem. The UAE government wants this to happen. They want rain so that they can create pure water from them…..

  10. @ Aaron — Well, accept it happens periodically, and they’re not equipped to handle it. Major earthquakes aren’t an everyday occurrence in California, but building codes are still such that they need to be able to withstand a certain amount of impact. Clearly there are no such guidelines in many parts of the Middle East for rain.

  11. It is unpredictable that the water leak from the roof in heavy rain for such a large building.

    HK and Singapore airport have same problem before when there is heavy rain.

  12. you’re all embarrassing yourselves shaming the UAE in any way over this. if you knew how dilapidated the united states’ public infrastructure was, you’d be in for a huge surprise. and lucky, come on, look at the damage that occurs in the southland when there’s major rain from el niño… what a total double standard.

  13. UAE airspace has not been shut down or even temporarily restricted. Some airports closed temporarily due to flooding and hailstorms (AUH and DWC), but the airspace has been open throughout.

  14. @Lucky

    Comparing earthquakes and rain is just nonsense. Earthquakes are broadly unpredictable and sudden and can potentially kill 1000s of people in building collapses and the like, that’s why regulations are in place even though the event itself is very rare. Rain is generally predictable and mostly does not kill people even if there is a lot of it. Clearly countries in the ME do not require the same level of rain management protection as the US or Europe so there is no need to spend vast sums of money building dead assets to prevent a once a year non-lethal weather event. That does not make their system not fit for purpose. Plus if you had seen the severity of the rain in the UAE in the last 24 hours you would also not be surprised with a few leaks and flooded streets. I expect you would have had them even in countries used to rain. I certainly have seen plenty of flooded streets and leaks during severe weather at home in London.

  15. At AUH Etihad lounge. A portion of the lounge is closed due to a ceiling water leak. Also in Dubai, Park Hyatt had a leak in the hallway and City Center shopping mall had various areas where the ceiling was leaking. Also, many of the highways have standing water. Travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi took over 1.5 hours.

  16. @Lucky… Interesting enough, many buildings collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Sometimes it’s difficult to predict what can happens during abnormal conditions. Earthquakes, according to you, aren’t a common thing in California, and heavy rainfall isn’t common in the Middle East… Just that…

  17. And btw, New Orleans was devastated after Hurricane Katrina and NYC was flooded after Hurricane Irene… Just don’t point your finger on other countries problems when your own also can’t deal with Mother Nature…

  18. En route to London today, I connected in Doha from Kuala Lumpur. Our inbound flight was delayed by 30 minutes due to the weather conditions. It was clearly quite wet outside, and I assumed the worst of the weather had passed, but the number of flights that were cancelled and/or delayed was surprising. In the Al Mourjan lounge, Qatar Airlines personnel were busy walking around informing passengers whose flights were affected. Some poor folks had their Doha – Paris flight delayed for 6 hours. When my own (thankfully undelayed) flight took off, we encountered around 30 minutes of turbulence while climbing to cruising altitude before we got out of the bad weather.

  19. Please don’t descend on click-bait.

    The roof DID NOT collapse.

    The roof leaked. Massively.

    The ceiling tiles came down due to the weight of the water sitting on top of them.

    Nobody would have been hurt, just soaked wet.

  20. In Dubai and after 8 years here, that was definitely one of the worst storms we’ve experienced. Also, I love that the municipality cancelled school across the UAE today! We’re always wishing for a snow day, but I’ll sure take a ‘rain’ day.

  21. @Bongo Did you really just compare heavy rainfall to “Hurricanes”? and isn’t basic waterproofing affordable between all this bling and show of wealth or what Christian said is true

  22. My Emirates DOH-DXB was delayed for six hours. Which in turn made me miss my DXB-HEL flight. Emirates did a poor job informing passengers about delays in DOH…

  23. @Bongo First of all I am not American, second of all, stupid comparison between brand new prestige infrastructure in the UAE and decade old infrastructure in the US that failed. If in the UAE or Qatar they can’t even get right brand new buildings (and prestige ones at that), I don’t even want to know what will happen in 20-30 years, when normal wear and tear has set in. That’s why these countries are decidedly third world, and no amount of gold platter will change that.

  24. While I am not here to defend anything about the construction business in the Middle East (because I am not an expert to evaluate their work), as I am someone in the region, I can tell you that the rain was not the normal rain we get once a year. In the past 4 years of my life here in the Gulf, I’ve never experience such prolonged rainy days. It reached the hike yesterday with severe thunderstorms. I am attaching a video here and you can see it by yourself. So please don’t just judge everything by a remote website’s information. I think it is very premature to criticize something you don’t know well based on unreliable information…

  25. How embarrashment…

    They love to pretend they’re ‘it and a bit’ but they’re third world and always will be. Dirty mussies.

  26. Hi Lucky! It might be a little off topic, but do you know if there are fast lanes in Abu Dhabi for security check if you’re in transit or are the line horrendous?

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