The worst dust storm in 8 years

haze

We woke up this morning with a little haze outside. Another sandstorm/dust storm? The above pic was taken Thursday morning (it’s Tuesday now).

Dubai had one hell of crazy weather last week. It changed from clear blue skies on Wednesday to apocalyptic dust storm on Thursday and again beautiful, beautiful weather on Friday!

This is not new. We get this often when the season changes from ‘winter’ to summer. Haze, heavy fogging. But then it didn’t stop right there. The dust storm escalated and became worse until it blanketed the whole city (maybe the whole country?) with thick, yellow dust.

dust storm

The above photo has no filter whatsoever. It is what it is, the view outside my office, straight from the camera. It lasted until late afternoon. At first I thought everyone was suddenly using Instagram and applying a yellowish filter or sepia. Nope, see the dust storm photos shared by readers of Emirates 24/7.

Last Thursday’s haze that saw wind speeds reach 65 km per hour and visibility drop to a mere 100 metres in some places. The dust storm has forced Saudi Arabia and Qatar to close down schools.

That was the worst dust storm/sandstorm I’ve seen in our 8 years living in the UAE.

Have you seen the movie Mission Impossible 4, where Tom Cruise is being chased by a massive sandstorm? I was like, what an exaggeration! That never happens in real life! Dang, movie special effects!

tom-cruise-running1

But whoa, last week, we were reminded that it could happen!

Thankfully, the weather cleared up and we had our glorious clear, blue skies back again, just in time for the weekend. We drove to Umm Al Quwain, one of the seven emirates of the UAE, just less than an hour from Dubai.

umm al quwain

What a nice, quiet community just off the main road in Umm Al Quwain.

villa in umm al quwain

Our friend and his family are leaving the UAE and going back to Japan. I feel bad we didn’t see them as often as we should have. They’ve been here for about 8 years too and now, they’re going back ‘home’. Again, we were reminded of the transient life here, one day, we may be the one to say goodbye too.

But first, barbecue and pool time!

pool gate

pool time

And then playing with their dog!

IMG_7206

I have a confession to make: I am scared of dogs (especially the small, aggressive ones) but this dog was so gentle. He is already 15 years old with very mild character. The kids LOVED him and asked whether our friends would bring the dog back to Japan because if not? Insert puppy dog eyes of pleading here.

dog

There is a forecast of fog/haze and dust storm again in the next few days. I hope it’s nothing serious like the one we had last Thursday.

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