The government has called for private sector companies to allow flexible working on Monday with weather warnings in place across the country.
The UAE is braced for heavy rain, thunder and high winds on Sunday and Monday with the public urged to be on their guard over “hazardous” weather to come.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation on Sunday urged employers to take action to ensure the safety of workers.
“The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation calls on private sector companies across the UAE to apply flexible working patterns tomorrow, Monday, 12 February, given the expected weather,” the authority said.
“Necessary measures need to be taken by companies to ensure outdoor work, if necessary to resume, complies with the occupational health and safety requirements.
“Companies also need to ensure the health and safety of workers commuting to and from outdoor work locations.”
The National Centre of Meteorology said wind speeds could reach 70 kph over the coming days, bringing the prospect of dust and sand storms.
The weather centre has a yellow alert – calling for the public to be aware of bad weather – and a more severe orange alert – forecasting hazardous weather events – in place for large parts of the country until noon on Tuesday.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Dubai's private education regulator – called on schools and universities to provide distance learning on Monday in light of the unstable weather.
“With unpredictable weather predicted, we ask all Dubai private schools, nurseries, and universities to be flexible when considering the needs of parents, staff and students and provide the option of distance learning on Monday, Feb 12. Stay safe everyone,” the authority wrote on X on Saturday.
Sharjah Private Education Authority said remote learning would be adopted across "all educational institutions " in the emirate on Monday as a safety precaution.
Sharjah City Municipality on Sunday announced the temporary closure of all parks in the city due to the stormy weather.
The authority said the green spaces would reopen to the public when conditions stabilise.
The municipality stressed that its work teams were prepared for the unsettled weather and had provided more than 175 tankers and 120 pumping stations in various regions to clear excess water.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has told the emirate's government employees to work remotely on Monday because of the expected wet weather.
His announcement, made on Saturday, excludes government jobs that require on-site attendance.
Remote working and distance learning will also be in place in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
"Due to weather conditions, remote work will be activated across government entities and companies, excluding jobs that require a presence at the workplace, and remote study for all education institutions on Monday in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra," Abu Dhabi Media Office stated.
On Thursday the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology warned that heavy rain and wind as well as lightning, thunder and hail would be seen in some areas from Sunday, with temperatures also expected to fall over the coming days.
The NCM also said the adverse weather is because the UAE is affected by a surface low-pressure system extending from the south-west, accompanied by humid south-easterly winds.
Temperatures have stayed relatively low so far in 2024, as is normal for the time of year.
The NCM reported downpours across Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning, including a bout of heavy rain in the Al Dhafra region of the emirate.
Further rainfall was recorded in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.
The NCM shared footage of large pools of water forming on roads on its social media channels on Sunday morning.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority announced on Saturday it had held a series of meetings to draw up action plans for the expected bad weather, in order to minimise disruption to the public and businesses and promote safety.
NCEMA urged motorists to “exercise extreme caution” during hazardous conditions and to avoid flooded areas and mountainous areas.
Abu Dhabi Police advised drivers to take care during spells of rainfall in a message on social media.
The force said motorists should adhere to variable speed limits displayed on electronic sign boards.
Police typically reduce speed limits on some routes to 80 kph during bad weather – such as heavy rain and fog – which hamper visibility.