Old visuals passed off as scenes from recent flooding in Dubai

By: Ishita Goel
April 18 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Old visuals passed off as scenes from recent flooding in Dubai

Screenshots of social media posts claiming to show recent flooding in Dubai. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The claim is false since the six clips part of the viral video have been available on the internet before the April 15 thunderstorm in the UAE.

Claim ID 2868dd61

What is the claim?

A severe thunderstorm lashed the United Arab Emirates on the night of April 15 and the following day, causing unprecedented flooding in the metropolis of Dubai, among other cities and regions.

Against this backdrop, purported visuals from Dubai are going viral, highlighting the precarious situation. However, these include many old and unrelated videos as well. One such compilation of videos, comprising six clips, is viral on social media, with the claim that it shows the aftermath of the record rainfall in Dubai. An archived version of a post sharing this video can be viewed here.

Screenshots of the viral social media posts. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

While the situation caused by the heavy thunderstorm was alarming, with the government issuing warnings and urging people to work from home, and many people were forced to abandon their vehicles on the road, the viral video does not capture the flooding in Dubai.

What are the facts?

Through reverse image search, we found that the clips in the video are old and predate the recent flooding in Dubai. 

Clip 1 

The first clip shows a man standing on a bridge-like structure and water gushing into a water body flanked by buildings. Our research showed that a TikTok user had shared an extended version of the same clip on January 31 with the caption, "Saudi Arabia #saudiarabia #flood #rain." The particular video has other clips from various flood scenes. The viral visuals portrayed as scenes of flooding in Dubai run for the first three seconds of this TikTok video. 

A screenshot of the TikTok video. (Source: Screenshot/ TikTok)

Clip 2 

The second clip shows a car washed away by flood waters in a hilly region. A longer version of the clip was shared on TikTok on November 14, 2023, with the caption, "Heavy flood in Saudi Arabia." A laterally inverted version of the viral clip can be seen in the first nine seconds of this  TikTok video, which also shows similar scenes of flooding.  

Comparison between the viral clip and the TikTok video, which is a laterally inverted version. (Source: Screenshots/TikTok)

Clip 3 

The third clip shows a traffic jam with vehicles stuck in flood waters. We found distinct similarities between the clip and a
TikTok video posted on November 15, 2023. The first 15 seconds of the TikTok video seemed to be a laterally inverted version of the part seen between the 0:11 and 0:21 timestamp of the viral video. (The remaining part of the viral clip can be spotted between the 00:43-1:02 timestamps of the TikTok video, again in a laterally inverted form. 

The TikTok post's caption, when translated from Arabic, read, "Today's rain in Jeddah, kilo (killed) 14." Another TikTok user had also shared the same video on November 16.

Comparison between the viral visual and the TikTok video, also laterally inverted. (Source: Screenshots/TikTok)

Clip 4

In the fourth clip, we see an area full of submerged cars. On November 19, 2023, a TikTok user had posted what seemed to be a laterally inverted version of the same visuals video with the hashtags' #rain #flood #saudiarabia.'

Comparison between the viral clip and the TikTok video. (Source: Screenshots/TikTok)

Clip 5 

In the fifth clip, we see a flooded area with a fleet of damaged cars and people walking in the background, picking up debris. A TikTok user had posted a laterally inverted version of the same clip on December 25, 2023, and captioned it "Saudi arabia flood (sic)." The TikTok video is a slightly longer version of the viral clip.

Comparison between the viral video and the 2023 TikTok clip. (Source: Screenshots/TikTok)

Clip 6

In the sixth clip, we can see an area wholly submerged in flood water, with only the roofs of houses and vehicles visible from above. A slower and longer version of the same clip was posted by a TikTok user on November 13, 2023, with the caption "Flood in Saudi Arabia." The viral bit can be spotted between the 0:05-0:25 timestamps of the TikTok video. 

Screenshots of the TikTok video. (Source: Screenshots/ TikTok)

Floods in Saudi Arabia

While various news reports confirm that Saudi Arabia has witnessed heavy rainfall and harsh weather conditions leading to floods in recent months, we couldn't independently verify whether the above-mentioned social media posts actually show them. However, given their availability on the internet predates the recent record-breaking rains in Dubai, it is clear that the clips in question or the viral video weren't shot during the recent Dubai floods.  

The verdict

Although their origin is unclear, the six clips in the viral video were available online long before the recent April 15 Dubai floods. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

Read this fact-check in:

English , অসমীয়া

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before