Last year I spent three weeks in Dubai during August and the one thing all the locals kept saying to me was why come in August? It’s too hot! Given that August is my summer holidays I don’t always get to pick the perfect time to visit my chosen location. Sometimes I’ll even book a flight because I’ve seen it for a cheap price before checking the weather at that time of year. It’s just what you do when you’re on a budget or time schedule.
Unless you hate the sun and heat with a passion, it is still possible to enjoy Dubai in the summer months. Just be prepared to sweat, a lot.
Advice for travelling in Dubai in summer
Pack a wide brim hat
I am one of those people who always burns their scalp no matter how long I’m in the sun for so I knew a hat was super important for me. However, I packed a sports cap assuming that would be enough protection, it was not. During the summer months in Dubai the heat is intense and I found I needed that full protection around my head, neck and shoulders. Having a wide brim hat on definitely eased the intensity of the heat while walking around.
Protect your skin
We’ve all been that silly barely 20 year old who thinks the best way to get a tan is to put factor 10 on or worse nothing at all. Don’t do that in Dubai, the sun is strong and just a few minutes in the sun can see skin turning pink. Be sensible and wear factor 50, yes I’m aware I sound like your mother but your skin is precious.
Always carry a bottle of water
Do not underestimate how quickly you will become dehydrated in the sun, especially if you’ve come from a cooler climate prior to landing in Dubai. The best thing you can do is to carry around a bottle of water at all times and keep drinking it. There are regular public toilets in Dubai so don’t fret about needing to pee all the time from drinking too much. Dehydration is such a serious issue in Dubai that at JP’s work they have a colour chart to check your pee… need I say anymore on the topic.
Don’t dress for the heat
In the UK we tend to put our shortest shorts and spaghetti strap tops on as soon as the sun comes out no matter how warm it is. In Dubai you can’t quite take the same approach in an attempt to deal with the heat. To start with, it is different culturally here and wearing short shorts and a spaghetti strap top is disrespectful to their culture (not to mention you will be asked to cover up as soon as you go inside anywhere). Secondly showing so much skin to the sun is not protecting it in a way that it needs during the summer. I’d recommend a nice lose and floaty skirt that allows the air to get between your legs and a lose top which covers your shoulders.
Plan where you are going to minimise time in the sun
During my three weeks, I found that Dubai is not the most straightforward or easy place to get around, especially when you are trying to walk. Not all roads have pavements and construction happens so regularly that a route Google thinks you can walk is now no longer possible. Do your research on how to get to your places of interest and have at least two ways of getting there. If it is more than 15 minutes walk don’t even think about it. Thankfully taxis know that people cannot walk far in the heat and tend to clock you from a mile off. I never waited more than a few minutes for a taxi. Also be sure to check where the entrance for something is before getting out of the taxi. It isn’t always clear and this can result in many laps of walking in the boiling heat.
Take regular breaks from the sun
No matter how much you love the sun and heat you will need to take regular breaks, even if it’s just to allow your body to stop sweating for a few minutes. Its amazing how much better you’ll feel after a nice ic cold drink and a few minutes rest. If you aren’t used to the heat you may not notice how much it is affecting your body until it’s too late so be sure to have regular breaks and keep hydrated. Man I really do sound like your nagging mother right now but trust me if you want to enjoy Dubai in the hot summer climate you have to look after yourself.
Explore early in the morning or late at night
Although there isn’t really a huge drop in temperatures during the night there is a noticeable drop. While I was in Dubai the average day temperature was 42 degrees while the night time was around 34 degrees. Having looked at those temperatures before my visit I thought it was going to feel unbearable 24/7. However, you really notice the difference in temperature especially when there is not sun to beat down on you.
Most things in Dubai open until 10 or 11 pm so it is easy to do a lot of sightseeing later in the day and the city looks amazing in the dark! There is not much open early in the morning but just wandering around without others to disturb your peace and taking it all in is worth an early alarm. Once the sun rises high into the sky and the temperature reaches it’s peak head into one of Dubai’s famous malls and do a little shopping/hibernating.
I hope you find these tips useful if you end up in Dubai in summer.
Do you have any more tips to add? Comment below