In Dubai, there are supposed to be only 5 days of rainfall a year( 1 ). This however did not stop some confused clouds from wandering over to the Dubai-Sharjah area and releasing their contents for a week. The expulsion of liquids began November 17th, when the students all across campus suddenly heard the thundering of raindrops on the roof. The downpour quickly resulted in an all-out flood. Over-protective employees discouraged students from leaving buildings because it was ‘too dangerous’ outside, but I chose to take off my shoes and wade through the flooded parking lots anyways. But the campus is floored with highly polished granite tiles, so walking over them while wet was about as graceful as learning how to ice skate. Students – only those without classes, of course – took this opportunity to use the ground as a gigantic slip and slide, and Instagram was later filled with videos of students swimming across campus. Sadly, I could only recover videos of them doing push-ups in the rain( 2 ).
In the aftermath of the storm, university was cancelled due to ‘dangerous conditions’, the student center was evacuated, and buckets stood guard on the floor collecting water that dripped from the ceilings. When I tried leaving the dorm on the weekend, the dorm supervisor discouraged my venture into the ‘dangerous conditions’. This was reasonable, since the roads had been turned into pools and the only water-drainage system – the burning Arabian sun – was currently not operational due to interference from clouds. People took advantage of this opportunity to engage in water sports, an option usually not available to people who live in a desert( 3 ).
( 1 ) Dubai Page Information on Dubai’s weather.
( 2 ) Instagram Video Push-ups in the rain.
( 3 ) Facebook Video Video from Al-Ain of a man on a motorboat in the street.