ME and I where away for several weeks in the end of March, beginning of April. We returned to KSA to find everything in our villa coated with sand both inside and out. Several days before we arrived a freak sandstorm blew across the Arabian Peninsula creating a lot of havoc. The extremely high winds caused poor visibility, cancelling many flights and closing schools. One of the guys living on the compound said that a group were play volleyball in the evening when within minutes the winds kicked up and sand/dust started to blow around. They abandoned the game and by the time they walked back to their villas visibility dropped to several feet.
Here is a link to an article from a British tabloid with images of the sandstorm.
Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately we missed the sandstorm by several days. But we could see the effects with layers of sand heavily coating everything outside. The windows and doors to our villas are of poor quality, there are many small gaps between the openings, so there was a thin layer of sand almost like talcum powder dust coating everything in the villa. Every exposed surface was coated. The floors are all tile and where slippery to walk on.
It occasionally gets windy here so we are used to putting things away to keep items away from the dust. Closet doors and drawers are always kept closed, computers, phones and any electronic items covered up so the dust won’t damage them. Even when we are away for several weeks we return to a layer of dust covering everything. The vacuum comes out, the surfaces are wiped down and all of the towels, sheets, pillowcases are washed. It becomes a pain but this is life in the Middle East. This in one of the reasons we have our villa cleaned every week. Even in non-windy times there always seems to be a layer of sand/dust that accumulates each week.
Because of the amount of dust in the air, many people living here have a higher rate of respiratory problems and eye infections.
Today, as I’m writing this, we are experiencing heavy winds averaging 25 miles per hour. Even though there are no clouds in the sky, because of the amount of dust in the air, the day is dull like an overcast day. Not a good day to be out and about. Below are some before and after pictures from the sandstorm.