TOWIE stars Joey Essex and James Argent stranded in Dubai flash floods as they try to hitchhike in ankle-deep water

17 April 2024, 15:06

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai
TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

Reality TV stars Joey Essex and James Argent have been left stranded in the Dubai floods, after the Gulf city underwent its heaviest rainfall in 75 years.

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Essex and Argent, who both used to star on The Only Way Is Essex, were stuck trying to hitchhike home after trying in vain to get a taxi.

Essex posted a video to Instagram of himself and Argent, saying: "Decided to hitchhike after hours of trying to get home."

He published another video of himself running through ankle-deep brown water, and said: "After hours of looking for a taxi we have decided to take the next step... operation survival."

Essex moved to Dubai last year after his house in the UK was robbed, and is believed to be dividing his time between Britain and the Gulf city.

Read more: TOWIE star Lauren Goodger's ex denies assaulting her the day after they buried their daughter

Read more: Families rush to flee Dubai amid flood chaos as luxury cars swamped and residents jet ski down roads

Joey Essex
Joey Essex. Picture: Instagram

Dubai authorities advised people to stay home on Wednesday after more than 4.7 inches of rain fell on Tuesday - the typical yearly average.

Transport has suffered amid the floods, which has hampered many families trying to flee the city.

Roads surrounding the airport were shown to be submerged - with some wealthy drivers in luxury cars saying they had to ‘float’ their way through the streets.

James Argent
James Argent. Picture: Instagram

And video footage from inside Dubai’s airport showed passengers sleeping on the floor as they waited for flights to leave the waterlogged country.

Dubai airport's official Twitter posted this morning: "We advise you NOT to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary. Flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Please check your flight status directly with your airline. We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions."

Metro station in Dubai flooded after UAE thunderstorms

In another video that surfaced on social media a man was seen jet skiing down a flooded street.

A driver films the flooded streets of Dubai
A driver films the flooded streets of Dubai. Picture: TikTok/elitegrouptravel

The apocalyptic scenes saw planes swimming in floodwater and shopping malls being swamped.

Footage showed luxury cars submerged in deep water and waves buffeting the traffic while high-end muscle cars and Teslas struggled through the floods.

Nearly 50 flights in and out of Dubai were cancelled as a result, with aircrafts seen cutting through water at Dubai International Airport - the world's busiest for international travel.

The airport later announced that all arriving flights would be diverted until the end of the day.

Dubai hit by mass flooding after year's worth of rainfall in a day

Shopping malls were left swamped too, with visitors seen wading through water at the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.

The city's skies turned dark mid-afternoon as the weather worsened.

Lightning could be seen flashing across the sky, occasionally touching the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Men gesture as they try to tow a vehicle out of standing water in Dubai
Men gesture as they try to tow a vehicle out of standing water in Dubai. Picture: Alamy
A man tries to work on his stalled SUV in standing water in Dubai
A man tries to work on his stalled SUV in standing water in Dubai. Picture: Alamy

Schools across the UAE were largely shut ahead of the storm and government employees worked remotely.

But locals still weren't safe as patio furniture flew through the streets due to the strong winds.

Meanwhile, authorities sent tanker trucks out into the streets to pump away the water.

One entrepreneur shared a clip on X of him trapped in his Rolls Royce in the flooded streets.

"My Rolls Royce got flooded and we're stuck in the middle of the road in Dubai," he said. 

"Just like all my friends in crypto... today I am underwater."

People were also seen wading through ankle-deep water in the Onpassive Metro station, with bus services set up to help those who were stranded.

Unstable weather conditions are expected to continue in the region through to Wednesday, UAE's National Center of Meteorology said.

Rain is unusual in the UAE, but occurs periodically during the cooler winter months. Many roads and other areas lack drainage given the lack of regular rainfall, causing flooding.

Dubai hit by mass flooding after year's worth of rainfall in a day

Rain also fell in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In neighbouring Oman at least 18 people have been killed in heavy rains in recent days, according to a statement on Tuesday from the country's National Committee for Emergency Management.

That includes some 10 schoolchildren swept away in a vehicle with an adult.