Dubai rain: Filipina stranded in car for over 12 hours, others walk more than 2 hours

Estimated read time 5 min read

Marivic Mora waits out the traffic jam in Dubai on April 16, 2024.

A Filipina in Dubai was among hundreds of motorists stranded in their vehicles as incessant rain caused widespread flooding that blocked roads and damaged property on Tuesday (April 16).

Speaking to Expat Media on Wednesday (April 17), Marivic Mora said she and her 25-year-old son were stranded in her car for more than 12 hours at Exit 18 on Al Marabea Street on Al Khail Road.

Mora, who works as Accommodation in-charge in Dubai, said it was the first time it has happened to her in 19 years in the UAE. The Filipina said she didn’t expect to be stranded on the road because her initial trip at 2pm to drop off her daughter-in-law to the latter’s workplace near their home in Al Khail Gate was worry-free.

“It took only five minutes to drop off my daughter-in-law but it took me over 12 hours to reach my home,” Mora told Expat Media.

After the first three hours of going through slow-moving traffic, Mora thought of an escape plan. “I attempted different routes hoping to get home, but the roads were flooded, so I had to reverse my car to avoid the large flood but I ended up in same location on Al Marabea Street,” she said.

“Those who used Exit 18 on Al Marabea Street were all stranded. I asked for updates from people who walked by, and they said there was flooding ahead and small vehicles couldn’t pass through,” said Mora, who drives a Hyundai Elantra.

“When we came to know that there was no way to go, all those stranded in their vehicles switched off the engine of their cars and tried to take a nap,” she added.

Mora said that while stuck in their car for hours, she and her son listened to music to calm their nerves. “I updated our family on our situation using Messenger,” she said. Thankfully, they had water in the car, so they were able to quench their thirst.

However, it was a different story when she needed to use the toilet. “I had to look for an empty bottle and borrow a cutter from another driver as I [needed to empty my bladder]. I made it inside my car!” Mora recounted, laughing.

Despite the inconvenience, Mora said that the entire experience renewed her appreciation for life. “I saw construction workers who decided to leave their bus and walk home to their accommodation. It is inspiring to see their determination, even though they were tired,” she said.

Road starts to clear at 2:45am

“At around 2:45am, some vehicles were able to move and use other routes. Some motorists allowed me to pass through, and told me to drive through a desert area. Eventually, I made it home after more than 12 hours on the road,” Mora said, adding that they arrived in Al Khail Gate at around 3am.

The Filipina said the challenging experience was a lesson on “flexibility and patience”. “Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and it’s essential to remain adaptable and patient while waiting for the situation to improve,” she said.

Stranded commuters walk home for over 2 hours

While motorists were stuck in their car, many stranded commuters decided to walk home as widespread flooding in Dubai disrupted public transport services in the city, with buses and taxis along with private transportation unable to cross waterlogged roads.

A road in Dubai is flooded after heavy rain on April 16, 2024. STORM.AE

One of them was Sancha Thamsuhang, a Nepalese who said he walked from Palm Jumeirah to his home for approximately two hours and 30 minutes on Tuesday. Thamsuhang said he walked a total of 8km.

Jade (full name withheld) said it took her nearly four hours to reach home as she had to walk from Jumeirah to Max Station in Bur Dubai where she took a carpool to reach her apartment in Al Rigga.

An International City resident told Expat Media that she was stranded in Warsan 1 for six hours because her car couldn’t pass through the flooded roads, and no taxi or public bus could reach her. Eventually, she decided to take the 1-hour walk to her apartment.

“I saw a lot of people walk in the rain. There was an African lady struggling with a 5kg sack of rice. I don’t think she anticipated the weather. A father and his son accompanied me when we made a shortcut through a sandy area, until I was able to reach Dragon Mart safely, and from there it was easy to find my way home,” she told Expat Media.

“I’m just glad that despite the horrendous weather, there were no deadly incidents and you could see how authorities were working to keep everyone safe,” she said. ICA/PIA/Expat Media

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