Middle East Cruise News

Cruise tourists find Dubai Mall flooded as heavy rains lash Dubai during port call

Passengers sailing aboard Mein Schiff 5 and Silver Spirit on cruises from Dubai found one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, Dubai Mall, suffering flooding on Sunday as heavy rains lashed the city.

In videos posted on social media, water could be seen flooding several shops on the ground floor of the mall’s Fashion Avenue.

The retailer Kate Spade seemed to be particularly badly impacted, but a statement from Emaar, which owns and operates the mall, the largest in the world, said the mall remained open and operational at all time.

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“Dubai Mall was affected by the heavy rainfall, causing leakages in limited areas.  We are working to contain all leakages and the mall remains operational and open to the public. Mall staff are on the ground, ensuring the visitor experience remains unaffected,” the company said in a statement on Twitter.

Some flooding also affected the parking area of the mall, with rain water seen pouring from the ceiling.

Rain and thunder storms affected large swathes of the entire UAE Sunday, with the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) warning that the unstable weather will continue into Monday.

Such conditions arise annually in Dubai as the season transitions from summer to autumn and into the winter months. The current weather conditions, however, have reportedly been enhanced with cloud-seeding, a technology Dubai has invested heavily in to find ways of increasing rainfall.

The NMC said that the weather conditions are unrelated to the tropical storm Maha that hit the region earlier as it spun out in the Arabian Sea.

Maha is the fourth cyclone of the year to form in the area, something that hasn’t happened since 1902, according to officials. Cyclone Kyarr earlier in the month also affected some cruises in the region.

The unstable weather came as thousands of tourists aboard Mein Schiff 5 and the luxury cruise ship Silver Spirit were visiting the city ahead of cruises from the Arabian Gulf.

Dubai Mall is a major draw on Dubai cruise itineraries, along with the Dubai Fountains and adjacent Burj Khalifa.

November is always a risky time of year to visit Dubai on a cruise, similar conditions met passengers earlier this year during the inaugural visit to Dubai of Costa Cruises’ brand new Costa Venezia.

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