Flights at Dubai International Airport have been grounded on Friday due to what authorities said suspected drone activity, leaving several thousand passengers stranded in the world’s third busiest airport.
The airport said in a statement that departing flights were suspended for half an hour between 10:13 and 10:45 on Friday morning. Incoming flights, however, were allowed to land.
“Dubai Airports has worked closely with the appropriate authorities to ensure that the safety of airport operations is maintained at all times and to minimize any inconvenience to our customers,” said the statement.
Drone activities are forbidden “near, around and over airports,” according to Dubai government regulations, which oblige users to obtain a certificate from the General Civil Aviation Authority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dubai International Airport was attacked by a drone strike back in September. The attack was carried out by Yemen’s army and its allies in retaliation for the UAE’s role in the Saudi attacks war on Yemen.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia’s key ally, has for almost four years been part of the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen.
In another incident last August, Yemeni military sources said their soldiers and their allies attacked the airport, using a domestically-built long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) unmanned aerial vehicle.
The army forces and Popular Committees fighters also targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport, using the same type of combat drone in July.
A spokesman for Yemeni air force and air defense, Abdullah al-Jafri, said at the time of the attack that the airport halted both incoming and outgoing flights.
He warned back then that the army will target the infrastructure of countries that have colluded in the aggression against Yemen in future attacks.
The war on Yemen has killed some 15,000 people and injured thousands more. More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.