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Strong winds cause havoc at major Dubai sporting events

Strong winds reaching up to 80km per hour across the UAE forced major sporting events in Dubai to be postponed on Friday.

The second round of the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament was cut short with South African George Coetzee leading by one shot as winds made play impossible.

The windy conditions added to a difficult day for tournament organisers following the withdrawal of former world number one Tiger Woods because of a back injury.

Tournament director Mike Stewart told the European PGA Tour website: “Winds increased during the course of lunchtime into the early afternoon to the point where we had gusts approaching 36 miles an hour and beyond.”

Play is scheduled to resume at 7.30am local time on Saturday.

Stage 4 of the Tour of Dubai cycling race was also postponed due to the windy weather as organisers applied the UCI’s Extreme Weather Protocol.

Elsewhere, Global Village was closed on Friday while the RedFestDXB, the Middle East’s biggest music festival held at the Dubai Media City Ampitheatre, was also cancelled.

The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) also reported snow in Jebel Jais as temperatures plummeted across the country, touching -2 degrees in the UAE’s highest mountain in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also issued a general warning to motorists to take extra care in the poor driving conditions.

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