This country is always one step ahead…

The UAE is set to enhance cloud seeding procedures after the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) announced on Wednesday, April 6, it will add a more advanced aircraft to its fleet.

The new aircraft, the Wx-80 turboprop, can carry more cloud seeding materials than the Beechcraft KingAir C90 planes and is outfitted with more sophisticated safety equipment as well as other high-tech systems.

This is a major step forward in the cloud seeding mission: enhancing and expanding cloud seeding operations throughout the country to ensure water security in all emirates.


At this stage, it’s unknown how many aircraft are being acquired or when they will become operational in the cloud seeding programmes.

In January 2023, the country conducted 13 cloud seeding missions within one week which resulted in the country receiving heavy downpours for a few days.

What is cloud seeding?


Cloud seeding is a complex process, with continuous research being undertaken to improve its effectiveness.  The process aims to modify the weather, to change the type of precipitation that falls from clouds. The cloud seeding process involves firing magnesium, sodium chloride and potassium chloride into clouds to produce rain.

National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology meteorologist Sufian Farrah told Arabian Business that cloud seeding is a far cheaper way to produce water than desalination and can produce one cubic metre of water for Dhs3.67 (while it costs Dhs220 to produce the same amount of water through desalination).

The UAE has undertaken this programme since 1990s, with NCM partnering with global organisations like Nasa in the 2000s.

Images: Unsplash and NCM