YouTube poster “moh dev” shot the terrifying action, capturing the power and speed of the enormous cloud of rain and dust as it engulfed downtown Dubai. It’s a mystery how he timed this. Since when have weather forecasts ever been accurate?
The video starts with a shot of downtown Dubai familiar to millions of tourists. See the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai Mall, and the towering Burj Khalifa against a backdrop of distant lightning. The camera pans to the gathering storm and tracks its progress as it blows through the city – passing in under four minutes!
Imagine the sensations inside the tower when blasted by this gritty wind! At 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) tall, it’s three times taller than the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as high as the Empire State Building. Surely there was serious swaying. Now picture what a comparable storm would do to Saudi’s planned kilometer-high Kingdom Tower?
Sand trapped in storms like these more closely resembles dust: fine grained particles that embed in crevices you never knew your body had. Which is why designs like a rotating tower with multiple moving parts are absurd in this climate (and most others!).
Panning out, the videographer brings Dubai International Financial Centre into frame to give some perspective on the storm’s size until he and his car are swallowed up as well and torrential rain begins to fall.
Image of Dubai skyline from Shutterstock