Scientists claim to have brought downpours to the sandy deserts of Abu Dhabi using technology to control the weather.
Employed by the ruler of Abu Dhabi, their secret project is said to have created 50 rainstorms last year in the Arabian emirate’s eastern Al Ain region.
Most of the storms were at the height of the summer in July and August when there is usually no rain at all.
It means that people of the Middle East, who have dreamed of turning the sandy desert into land fit for growing crops, are a step closer to having fresh water on tap.
Indeed, people living in Abu Dhabi were baffled by the rainfall over summer which sometimes turned into hail and included gales and lightening.
Scientists of the Swiss company Meteo Systems International have been working secretly for United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
They used ionisers to produce negatively charged particles called electrons which have a natural tendency to attach to tiny specks of dust ever-present in the atmosphere in the desert-regions.
These are then carried up from the emitters by convection – upward currents of air generated by the heat release from sunlight as it hits the ground.
Once the dust particles reach the right height for cloud formation, the charges attract water molecules floating in the air which then start to condense around them.
If there is sufficient moisture in the air, it induces billions of droplets to form, which finally means cloud and rain.
The scientists have been using giant ionisers, shaped like stripped down lampshades on steel poles, to generate fields of negatively charged particles.
In a confidential company video, the founder of the Swiss company in charge of the project, Metro Systems International, boasted of success.
Helmut Fluhrer said: ‘’We started in June 2010 and have achieved a number of rainfalls.’’