How Does Dubai Clean Up After A Sandstorm?

by Mohammed
(Leicester, United Kingdom)

All that sand, where does it go?

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Mar 18, 2020
by: Shabbir

Dubai− an arid dustbowl frequented by balmy sandstorms is not the perfect start to an invigorating workday. Getting by amid this gargantuan gale is hands-down like trudging through an inferno − you have to be careful not to be stung by pellets of stinging sand while simultaneously navigating through the dense haze.

A question asked by most non-natives and foreigners is how Dubai gets rid of all the sand that accumulates in the most surreal of places. First, you have to understand that sandstorms are not a novelty for residents and habitual Dubai-goers. It's like rain in Mangalore or hailstones in Quebec; extremely normal. Sandstorms usually occur in-between summer and winter months when escalating degrees lead to tyrannical tempests. These raging winds colloquially go by the terms habub or shamal and are a typical meteorological event in the Gulf.

Municipality workers with brooms, weather-beaten by years of sand clean-ups, sweep away the sand that settles atop roads and highways. To make the high-rises and skyscrapers shimmer and sparkle in the glow of the setting sun, cleaners are assigned these colossal architectural wonders, who attached to personal tethers, wipe the glass façades until they become vortexes to an alternate dimension. Car wash studios are brimming with people waiting to get their cars deterged of the fine sand while families drudge to purge their homes of the insoluble filth.

These sandstorms may whip your hair in your face and make your clothes puff up but other than that, they are mostly harmless. The real troublemakers are the turbulent ones, which blow sand into the tiniest cracks and chasms of your apartments, automobiles, balconies, the fur and fleece of the rugs and carpets lining your floors and AC vents. Vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, rug shampoos/dry-clean and a thorough AC vent clean up is enough to get rid of the residue and aftermath of the shamal.

Lastly, if you find yourself caught in a roaring squall, it would be advisable to cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or surgical face-mask to curb the sand getting into your system. Such contaminants often cause allergies, dry cough, asthma and other respiratory and breathing problems especially when you are repeatedly exposed. Also, take shelter in a covered store or lobby immediately as the storm usually blows hot winds that bring along heatwaves and loos. If feasible, remain at home until the storm dies out, remember to consume fluids, and sanitize to quash bacteria and viruses.

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