New insights on sand dust storm from historical records, UAE

  • Yousef NazzalEmail author
  • Alina BarbulescuEmail author
  • Fares Howari
  • Ahmad Yousef
  • Ahmed A. Al-Taani
  • Fatima Al Aydaroos
  • Muhammad Naseem
Original Paper


Dust properties are playing a major role in visibility reduction during dust storms. To evaluate the visibility variations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), data collected at eight stations from 2010 to 2017 was analyzed. The mean annual visibility ranged from 8291 to 9295 with a 7-year overall average visual range of 8.98 km. Results show increasing occurrences in mild to severe dust storms with subsequent progressive decreasing in the mean annual visibility value. Reduction in the annual mean visibility was mainly noted in the central and some northeastern parts of the UAE. Under winter conditions, degradation of visibility extends to Abu Dhabi and other central Emirates. The dust storms occurred at greater frequencies when the wind speed exceeded 15 notes, with a visibility of less than 3000 m.


Sand dust storm Visibility trend Distribution Emirates 


Author contributions

Conceptualization: Y.N. and F.H., methodology; A.B., validation; A.B., A.Y., A.A-T., and F. Al A., investigation; X.X., data curation; A.Y., original draft preparation; Y.N. and M.N., review and editing; A.B., supervision; A.B., project administration; Y.N, funding acquisition.


This research was funded by the Research Office, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Project No. R 17081).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yousef Nazzal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alina Barbulescu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fares Howari
    • 1
  • Ahmad Yousef
    • 3
  • Ahmed A. Al-Taani
    • 3
  • Fatima Al Aydaroos
    • 4
    • 5
  • Muhammad Naseem
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Natural and Health SciencesZayed UniversityAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Ovidius University of ConstantaConstantaRomania
  3. 3.Independent Geospatial ResearcherDubaiUAE
  4. 4.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of ScienceYarmouk UniversityIrbidJordan
  5. 5.UAE Space AgencyAbu DhabiUAE

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