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UAE urges some employees to work remotely as floods, heavy rain hit northern emirates

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Private sector and federal employees in parts of the United Arab Emirates that have been affected by severe weather were urged to work from home on Thursday and Friday as floods and heavy rain hit several emirates including Fujairah, Sharjah, and Ras al-Khaimah.

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Rain on Wednesday caused severe flooding in the northern emirates, leading to travel disruptions and home evacuations.

UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid directed hotels to open vacant rooms to families that had been displaced by the flooding, the Emirates News Agency WAM reported.

Sheikh Mohammed also directed the UAE’s Ministry of Community Development to arrange temporary shelter for those displaced by the floods.

Further rain is expected to fall on the emirate on Thursday.

Images shared on social media showed cars on a highway brought to a standstill by floodwater that reached up to their windows.

Others depicted people being evacuated from their homes, assisted by the emergency services.

A statement from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) early on Thursday morning urged private sector establishments in Fujairah and other northern emirates (Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah) to allow non-essential employees to work from home on Thursday and Friday.

This followed an earlier directive from the UAE Cabinet on Wednesday allowing non-essential federal employees to work from home, excluding civil defense, police and security entities addressing disasters, crises and emergencies authorities, and community support bodies.

Ensuring the safety of people and property during the floods is a “top priority,” the UAE’s Ministry of Interior said in a statement carried by WAM on Thursday.

The ministry urged members of the public not to leave their homes unnecessarily, to drive carefully, and to exercise caution in general.

An emergency committee was formed by the UAE Cabinet on Wednesday night, chaired by the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail al-Mazrouei, to assess the damage caused by the rain and floods.

The committee was also directed to “submit a detailed report on the damages and immediately start taking all necessary measures to protect property and lives in coordination with security, police, and municipalities in every emirate,” according to WAM.

All UAE residents and citizens, “especially those residing in the mountainous areas,” were cautioned to stay away from flood points, valley streams and torrents.

People were also urged to report any accidents immediately.

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