Dubai has a unique tropical desert weather, moderated by the sea. Nighttime temperatures range from the mid-50sF in winter to the 80sF in summer. Daytime temperature range from 75F in the winter to the 100sF in summer. High humidity also occurs in summer, as the very warm ocean waters (99F in summer) cause risks for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Persian Gulf region. Rain can occur in the form of summer thunderstorms/monsoons that don’t last too long, or in winter storms. Water temperatures range from 75F in the winter to the 80sF in spring and fall, and the 90sF in summer.
When is a good time to visit Dubai?
Dubai climate is generally warm most of the year. It’s not so bad in the winter months, but summers are extremely hot. However, the high humidity levels can be harsh during the summer months. That said, the best time to plan a trip to Dubai is during the winter months.
To really enjoy the climate in Dubai, both indoors and out, try to go there between November and mid March. These are typically the best months to be in Dubai.
What should I wear or bring to Dubai?
Luggage and bags: An insulated “freezer-bag” for keeping your food & drinks cool is always useful when going into the desert or to a public beach. (these bags can be purchased at most supermarkets in the freezer section)
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Dubai is very liberal, but it’s still a Muslim city: Keep this 1 Golden Rule in mind:
WHAT TO WEAR DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU ARE GOING.
M E N should not wear shorts unless they are at the beach. Long, light trousers and t-shirts/shirts with collar are appropriate for malls, museums, souks, etc.
W O M E N, it’s obviously more complicated:
When dining/partying at clubs & Western restaurants: Pretty much anything goes.
In malls & “Western” areas: knee-length skirts & tops that cover the shoulders (and stomach) & are not too deep-cut are fine.
When visiting souks, mosques or the museum: it’s best to wear long skirts or trousers & loose tops to cover down to the elbows as not to offend anyone & not to attract any unwanted attention.
Golden Rule No. 2: Ladies, if you show too much skin, everyone will think you’re a prostitute.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: B.Y.O. Sun Lotion! Sun lotion is only used by tourists and Western expatriates in the UAE (Arabs & Asians generally bleach their skin to become whiter, whilst we spend hours trying to tan… crazy world) Therefore, sun lotion is relatively expensive in Dubai and I suggest bringing your own from home.
Also, it can be quite windy at Dubai beaches, which dries-out the skin; dry skin is the main reason we get sunburn. For that reason, sun tanning OILS actually prevent sunburn better than high-factor white, sticky lotions. (I recommend Hawaiian Tropic tanning oils)
Photo Equipment: Don’t take your brand-new, expensive, digital camera-gear to the beach or desert with you unless you have a seal-tight carrying case/bag for it… the sand gets everywhere and can really mess-up your equipment 😉
photo equipment, that is!!!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A good pair of sunglasses is a must (also for children!) as well as a wide-rimmed hat. Sunglasses can also help to keep the sand out of your eyes… it get’s quite windy.
TIP for Women: Instead of going back to the hotel & changing every few hours, to be on the safe side: wear long skirts or light trousers & tops that cover the shoulders. I *always* carry a light cardigan or shawl / pashmina with me to cover my shoulders if I should decide to visit a more “conservative” area… it’s also useful to keep warm, as the air-conditioning in malls & restaurants can be freezing cold!