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Doha
Friday, April 23, 2021

Flight delays at Qatar’s Hamad Airport multiply after sandstorm (updated)

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Crowd at Hamad International Airport
Crowd at Hamad International Airport

Following one of Qatar’s worst sandstorms in years, passengers who were supposed to board several flights scheduled to take off in the middle of the night from Hamad International Airport appear to still be stuck in the terminal with no revised departure times.

This includes the midnight KLM flight to Amsterdam, the 1:35am Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt and the 1:35am Qatar Airways/Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

Many other flights departed HIA this morning after a few hours of delays.

https://twitter.com/PeterofArabia/status/583374162112081920

For example, a Qatar Airways flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka was delayed by more than three hours, finally taking off at 4:30am, instead of its scheduled 12:55am.

And a Fly Dubai flight to Dubai which was due to leave Doha at 3:10am was actually canceled.

Speaking to Doha News, an airport representative said that most flights would be flying on schedule for the rest of the morning, but advised passengers due to travel today to check with their airline for the latest status update.

However, according to HIA’s website, delays out of the airport are piling up. Arrivals from elsewhere are also seeing delays – for example, a Qatar Airways flight from Dammam that was due to land at 5:10am is now not expected until 12:19pm.

For its part, the national carrier (and airport operator) has recommended passengers check the status of their flights online:

Schools closed

Citing “extreme weather conditions,” Qatar’s Supreme Education Council decided that private and public schools would remain shut today.

Several universities are also closed, including Northwestern University in Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. The College of the North Atlantic Qatar has also announced it would be shut.

Notably, Qatar University remained opened, much to the frustration of many students:

https://twitter.com/ShaimaSherif/status/583524283596439552

The weather is a result of a high pressure front from Saudi Arabia, which has also shut many of its schools in certain parts of the country, Arab News reports.

Weather forecast

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET), wind speeds here are forecast to reach as high as 35 knots inshore (65km/hour) and 38 knots (70km/hour) offshore.

Last night's sandstorm
Last night\’s sandstorm

Dusty conditions are expected to prevail through Friday, though the worst of this sandstorm should be over by lunchtime, says Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist at Al Jazeera English:

For those reporting to work today, the Ministry of Interior has warned of almost zero visibility on the roads, and reminded people to please refrain from using their hazard lights:

Here’s a roundup of what people are experiencing around town:

Are you venturing out today? Thoughts?

30 COMMENTS

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Illusionist's wife
Illusionist's wife
6 years ago

Good that they closed the schools, and also that some universities decided to close today, but what about people going to work? I even saw some construction workers outside while going to the office … in such conditions, everyone should be staying home … are the government entities actually working today?

Sophia
Sophia
6 years ago

I’ld like to thank the police men who were standing in the middle of the storm helping others and making us feel safe, I couldn’t continue driving at 10:20 pm due to the horrible weather in a matter of minutes even before I call, they stopped and asked if I need any help, those men deserve to be thanked!

QU student
QU student
6 years ago

I’m a student in QU. the classes and parking lots were empty. The majority of the faculty members notified students in advance to not attend classes.

Shaz Shahar
Shaz Shahar
6 years ago

My worst ever sandstorm experience in seven years living in Qatar.
It’s not getting better. Now, at 08:30 Dukhan is getting worst compared to 3 hours ago. The colours outside is yellowish with dust.

sophia
sophia
6 years ago

I’ld like to thank the police men who were standing in the middle of the storm helping others and making us feel safe, I couldn’t continue driving at 10:20 pm due to the horrible weather in a matter of minutes even before I call, they stopped and asked if I need any help, those men deserve to be thanked ..

Lorin
Lorin
6 years ago
Reply to  sophia

Thumbs – up to those policemen!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  sophia

Careful now… You might get banned for saying something positive

disillusioned
disillusioned
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You’re just as single minded and myopic as those you complain about.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  disillusioned

I’m not complaining

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  disillusioned

Deleting for personal attack.

azk
azk
6 years ago
Reply to  sophia

Wow. You’ve thanked the police. MIMH will be angry now. Just wait fir his retort- no thats not true retort

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  azk

Deleting for personal attack..

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago

Pretty sensible decision! Well done

Luis Henrique Rolim
6 years ago

If there is a security issue due the weather conditions, there is nothing to blame HIA authorities. I wish I had a mask to sleep yesterday night… felt I slept on the desert.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Good day for a World Cup final?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Cause the rest of the plant are immunie to adverse weather

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

We will rebuild

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Or just hire some extra cleaners 🙂

Turbohampster
Turbohampster
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Reminds me of the resolve shown be my fellow countryman after the last earthquake in the UK

A.M.
A.M.
6 years ago

Thank God the MOI has mentioned and cautioned against the improper use of hazard lights. A bit of rain, some sand and the cars light up like it’s Christmas Terribly confusing. Wonder who started this.

But I have got to say, mighty good effort by the cops who stood out in the dust trying to reign in the chaos. I saw a Tiida driving the wrong way on an exit ramp off the expressway. Hope he got home safely.

Dust protocol..a sign of the coming heatwave??

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  A.M.

Damn tiida drivers

Red_Panigale
Red_Panigale
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Menace to society.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Expat driven white Lancers and pink Bentleys.

A. M.
A. M.
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

Expat driven pink bentleys and those guys on unicorns..

typical expat
typical expat
6 years ago

Those Landcruiser drivers are to blame!

AAM
AAM
6 years ago

Now why cant people understand the meaning of “hazard lights”……hello, its for emergencies only. In a roundabout a vehicle’s hazard lights are flashing whilst on the move but who can guess which exit will be used especially if they are on the inner or middle lanes, how ridiculous & they just never learn, do they.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
6 years ago

Had my pool cleaned yesterday. Now it looks like a swamp. I’m waiting for the creature from the deep to climb out and knock my back window…

Jam
Jam
6 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

^_^..

Frankytrav
Frankytrav
6 years ago

Major kudos and thanks to the pilots who landed my Qr flight from JNB early this morning #Blessings

airlifter
airlifter
6 years ago
Reply to  Frankytrav

you’re welcome 😉

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