22 January, 2020

UAE to spend $136.1mln on infrastructure after floods

Dams and overpasses would be built

Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers put together a pipeline during the construction of the Olmos Irrigation Project in Peru's northwestern region of Lambayeque, March 15, 2013.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers put together a pipeline during the construction of the Olmos Irrigation Project in Peru's northwestern region of Lambayeque, March 15, 2013.

REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil
(Corrects paragraph 1 currency conversion)

DUBAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates will spend 500 million dirhams ($136.1 million) on flood protection and transport infrastructure after intense storms caused damage across the country this month, Abu Dhabi newspaper The National reported on Tuesday.

Unusually heavy rain flooded roads and damaging houses and other buildings.

Dams and overpasses would be built to mitigate the disruption caused by flooding, Minister of Infrastructure Development Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Nuaimi was quoted as saying.

"We have learned a new lesson after the last rains, and some projects have already started," he said.

The report did not say where the dams and overpasses would be built. The UAE consists of seven emirates.

Nuaimi, who has been infrastructure minister since 2016 and served in the former ministry of public works since at least 2005, said the storms were the worst he had seen during his time in office.

Residents in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah who were affected by the floods will receive compensation, the National newspaper said in a separate report.

The UAE has carried out at least 17 cloud seeding flights this month, according to local media. ($1=3.6728 UAE dirhams)

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((Alexander.Cornwell@thomsonreuters.com;))