Spoiler: It’s probably sticking around for the rest of the week…

Looking out of the window at the moment, at those human-built pillars in the mist (OK, dust), there’s a temptation to draw ‘apocalyptic’ comparisons. Of course, this isn’t an actual ‘end of days’ situation, the city’s skyline has just been temporarily robed in windblown sand and dust, giving it a hazy Martian glow. And for us at least, the surreal scenes make for a particularly aesthetic sort of poetry.

With the reduction in visibility, down to less than a kilometre in some parts of the country, there will be impacts on certain aspects of life. Most importantly, it creates a potentially hazardous driving environment, and the UAE’s Police Forces have urged drivers to remain vigilant on the roads, follow guidance from motorway signage and to avoid taking videos. The TikTok can wait till you get home. Although when you are home, we strongly recommend Sandstorm by Darude as your backing track.

What’s causing the dusty vistas?

It’s a bit of a ‘menage-a-trough’ situation out there at the moment with a surface low pressure system haling from the east clashing against an extension of a surface high pressure system from the west, all dueling with an upper air high-pressure system.

The resultant weather system is exactly the sort that sends Tom Cruise running through DIFC and somehow ending up in the Karama souks microseconds later.

How long can we expect these sandstorm skies to continue?

The weather bulletin issued by the National Centre of Meteorology advises that high temperatures and strong gusts of windblown dust are likely to continue until at least Sunday, May 2022. Plan your weekends with flexibility in mind.

Images: Getty