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Like Mars: Dusty Sandstorm Blocks Visibility And Travel In Dubai

Cars are seen driving amid a sandstorm that engulfed the city of Dubai Thursday.

Dubai took on a Mars-like glow Thursday, after a major sandstorm descended upon the city in the United Arab Emirates. Conditions forced airlines to delay or cancel flights in Dubai after the sandstorm arrived from Saudi Arabia early this morning.

For a sense of the scale of the sandstorm's impact, consider that Dubai is a city of more than 2 million people. Earlier this year, Dubai International Airport was named the busiest in the world, supplanting London's Heathrow.

After strong winds blew the sandstorm into the city today, the dusty haze is expected to persist through Friday. More than 100 cars were reportedly involved in accidents in Dubai.

"With severely reduced visibility, many motorists found themselves in fender benders prompting a flurry of police officers to respond to accidents in all corners of the nation," Gulf News reports.

The news agency published a list of Do's and Don'ts, largely to recommend covering up and staying hydrated. It also warned against heaving use of air conditioning, which could bring fine dust in. Gulf News added, "Do not eat any food catered outdoors in restaurants or cafes."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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