Dubai, a city that seemed to sprout up overnight, is one of the jewels of the United Arab Emirates. Along with Abu Dhabi, Dubai has grown exponentially in the last decade, and is often considered a cultural Mecca of the Arabian world. As of 2010, it was the 7th most visited city in the world. The world class shopping, beaches and the prominent architecture are among the top reasons people visit. While tourists holiday in Dubai year round, there are months when visiting the city is better than others, mostly due to cultural observations and the temperature.
When to Visit
Between October and April Dubai is teeming with tourists. The winter months, specifically, see a large number of tourists. Between the months of October and April temperatures range from 21 to 32 degrees Celsius (70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). February and March have the highest precipitation levels of the year in Dubai, however, precipitation is minimal in the region and even the “wet months” have little effect on visitors’ holidays.
During November Dubai hosts the Rugby Sevens. It’s a wonderful event for the family and can only be experienced in Dubai. During the event, Dubai becomes more lively, so visiting in November, even if you aren’t attending the Rugby Sevens, is advisable. For holiday goers who are more artistic than athletic, December is a great time to visit the area. A film festival that has been growing each year is held in Dubai during December. Tickets are easy to come by, and many wonderful films are screened for the first time at the festival. You can find out about these, and other, attractions at this website.
Times to Avoid Dubai
Dubai’s tourist economy starts to cool down as the temperatures start to heat up. During the summer months, which can stretch from May through September, Dubai becomes somewhat of a ghost town. Temperatures regularly soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), and humidity is high as well. The afternoon sun is punishing and most inhabitants and tourists make do by staying indoors during the mid-day period.
Dubai also becomes somewhat deserted during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan, a holy month that lasts for 30 days, is marked by fasting by the Muslim population. In Dubai eating, smoking and drinking outdoors is often prohibited during the daylight hours, and most cafes and eateries close during the day to observe the holy month. While the area comes alive again after sundown, finding food and activities during the day can be difficult during this time. Ramadan is not celebrated at the same time every year. In 2014 the month will be celebrated in June.
The Bottom Line
There is no truly “bad” time to visit Dubai. The cultural Mecca has a great deal of history, culture and wonderful events and attractions to keep the whole family satisfied on holiday. While the summer months are too warm for many, the winter months can be crowded. Picking the best time to holiday in Dubai is a truly personal decision.
An early life spent traveling with a mining executive father meant that Sanusi had traveled more in his first 20 years than most people travel in their entire lives, covering Russia, China and South America. A degree in journalism and experience as a travel writer for a Lagos-based magazine has allowed Sanusi to translate that into a career as a writer and is currently writing his first travel book on the rivers of Nigeria.