DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - A Yemen rebel drone strike this week on a critical Saudi oil pipeline shows that the otherwise-peaceful sandy reaches of the Arabian Peninsula now are at risk of similar assault, including an under-construction nuclear power plant and Dubai International Airport, among the world's busiest. U.N. investigators said the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 km (930 miles). That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two main opponents of the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, within reach of drones difficult to detect and track. Their relatively simple design, coupled with readily available information online, makes targeting even easier, analysts say. "These installations are easily findable, like on Google Earth," said Tim Michetti, an expert on illicit weapons technology with experience in Yemen.
A Saudi-led coalition has launched air raids on Yemen's Hodeidah, in an apparent resumption of military operations on the strategic Red Sea city after Houthi rebels attacked two Saudi oil tankers and one of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) main airports. The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said in a series of tweets on Friday that coalition air strikes had targeted a radio station inside the city and a fishing pier. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The latest offensive on the port city of Hodeidah came a day after Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack on Abu Dhabi's international airport. According to the Al-Masirah television channel, the Sammad-3 drone launched three attacks on the airport.
Dubai International Airport was forced to ground flights for half an hour due to a drone flying in the area, the airport says. It said airspace around the airport closed just after 0800 local time (0400 GMT) on Wednesday because of "unauthorised drone activity". Arrivals resumed at 0835, with full operations restarting by 0907. It is not the first time drones have delayed flights at the airport, one of the world's busiest. "We remind all [drone] operators that activities are not permitted within 5km (3.11 miles) of any airport or landing area,'' Dubai Airports said on Twitter.
Flights at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, were disrupted on Friday after sightings of a drone flying nearby. The airport told the AP news agency that it halted flights from 10:13am to 10:45am (local time) over "suspected drone activity". It said flights were later resumed. Alleged drone sightings have previously disrupted flights into the airport, which is the base of the long-haul carrier Emirates. One disgruntled passenger tweeted: "Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded! "This seems to be happening often in airports everywhere." Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded! This seems to be happening often in airports everywhere. Another passenger wrote: "Dubai airport going nowhere due to drone flying around.
Dubai International Airport is the latest to halt flights over a drone scare following similar incidents at London's Gatwick and Heathrow. The world's third-busiest airport temporarily stopped operations for just under 30 minutes due to "unauthorized drone activity," according to a tweet from the Dubai Media Office. Incoming flights were permitted to land during the disruption, reports The New York Times, which occurred between 10.15AM and 10.45AM local time. Operations are now reportedly back to normal. "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," the airport said.