UAE on snow alert as storm hits mountain and topples crane

Middle East Eye — Feb 3, 2017

The United Arab Emirates issued a snow alert on Friday as a rare storm and high winds toppled a crane in the Gulf desert state,.

One person was injured and three cars were destroyed in a fire sparked by the collapse of the crane on Dubai’s main thoroughfare, the multi-lane Sheikh Zayed Road, local officials said.

The storm led to the cancellation of a stage in the Tour of Dubai on Friday because of the strong winds – posing a danger to riders, organisers said.

The tour’s 170km penultimate stage, from Dubai to Hatta near the Omani border, would have left riders exposed to blustery winds.

John Degenkolb, who won Thursday’s stage, said on Twitter that the riders appreciated the decision.

Saturday’s stage was to go ahead as planned.

Apart from rough seas and winds of between 75km and 80km an hour across the UAE, there was rare snowfall on Jebel Jais, a mountain in Ras al-Khaimah emirate.

The met office said there was a depth of 10cm centimetres of snow in some places on the 2,000m mountain.

The mercury fell to minus -2C, with the light snow serving as a magnet for hundreds of Emiratis snapping pictures with smartphones to post on social media sites.


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