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UAE sees snow for first time ever
DUBAI (AFP) Dec 30, 2004
Snow has fallen over the United Arab Emirates for the first time ever, leaving a white blanket over the mountains of Ras al-Khaimah as the desert country experienced a cold spell and above-average rainfall.

Dubai airport's meteorology department told AFP Thursday that snow fell over the Al-Jees mountain range in Ras al-Khaimah, which is the most northerly member of the UAE federation.

The English-language Gulf News reported that the mountain cluster, 5,700 feet (1,737 metres) above sea level, "had heavy night-time snowfall for the past two days as a result of temperatures dropping to as low as minus five Celsius (23 Fahrenheit)" and stunning the emirate's residents.

On Monday, 12.6 millimetres (half an inch) of rain fell on the desert emirate of Dubai, where it hardly ever rains, as police reported 500 accidents on its roads in 24 hours, including one fatality, as a result of a three-day downpour.

A cold spell has hit the country this week, with the mercury plunging to 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit) in Dubai on Wednesday night.

The meteorology department, however, said the chilly weather in Dubai, where summer temperatures reach 50 Celcius (122 Fahrenheit), will probably end by next week.

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