The past two days we've had a shamal which is the word for "westerly winds" and from context is synonymous with "sandstorm." It's not all that bad, but makes visibility worse and really sucks to go cycling in.
Yesterday, I had a terrible time cycling in the wind. The sand itself is more like dust and doesn't hurt unless the wind picks up the bigger grains of sand. For the most part, I just felt gritty feeling in my teeth. I'm also guessing that it wasn't that great for me to be breathing it in while exercising.
Afterward, I met my wife and kids in the park for the kids' classmate's birthday party. My wife got a sore throat from all the sand in the air. I guess that it was bad for me. That was a good enough excuse for me not to wake up to go swimming.