It’s easy to forget you live in the desert when the winter months are here – when our weekends are spent at the beach, relaxing on the balcony, and doing as many outdoor activities as we can – with temperatures averaging the mid 20’s it’d be crazy not to soak up that Vitamin D!
However, once the summer months set in from July onwards – you are reminded DAILY that you are living the desert life. The temperatures shoot up to early 40’s and boy do you feel it.
I need to point out that living in Dubai and holidaying in Dubai are two totally different things. When you’re on holiday you almost enjoy the sweat because you compare this to the weather in the UK, and the novelty of your sweat drying up as soon as you hit the AC never wears off on holiday! It’s a totally different story when you live in Dubai, having to wear work clothes, getting drenched in sweat walking from the car park to work and praying those sweat patches dry up in the AC before your next meeting lol!
As this is our second summer in Dubai, I thought I would share our tips on how to survive the crazy Dubai temperatures – some of these might seem funny but trust me they work!
- Beat the sweat patches – This is probably the main one working expats would worry about! Remember less is not always more – people assume wearing less clothing, means you will be much cooler, however that is not always the case. When the sun is hitting your skin directly, you are exposing yourself to burn which in turn will make you sweat more – sweating is our body’s way of cooling the body down, so what we suggest is you cover up but loosely. Loose shirts, skirts etc etc will encourage air to flow and will prevent the sun burning your skin. Covering up also means you are able to shove balls of tissue under your arm pits whilst you walk in the heat and prevent those unsightly sweat patches under your arms!
- Plan your day – Working during the summer months means you need to be clever when planning your daily tasks. Morning and late afternoon hours are when the temperatures are somewhat bearable, so planning outdoor meetings/activities during those times makes complete sense. We have to remember that temperatures averaging 40 degrees are incredibly draining, which will make it harder to focus if you’re moving around in the heat – even a short walk can really drain you so plan your day around the peak heat times.
- Make the most of places with AC – Dubai is equipped for the summer months and will make living in the desert much easier – you just have to think before you act. For example, if you use public transport – all metro stations, trains, buses and taxis will have AC. Oh and don’t feel guilty if you decide to leave the AC on in the car when you’re running errands. Something we’ve started to do is if we go out for a meal, or go to a place where we will be for a few hours, hubby will run out to the car a few minutes before we are due to leave so that when we are ready to leave, the car has cooled down to a perfect temperature – Don’t you just love how safe it is in Dubai loll! This is so important because as hot as it is outdoors – it is a million times hotter in a car! Everything will burn you lol, the steering wheel will feel like it’s on fire – not forgetting that the AC will blow out SUPER HOT air when you first turn it on, so putting the AC on before you need to be in the car will save you feeling like you’re walking into a pit of fire!
- Carry water and towels with you at all times – It may sound silly but it is easy to get carried away with all the milkshakes, iced drinks etc but it’s so vital to keep your water intake up – especially if you’re out and about in the heat. We lose a lot of moisture through sweat during the summer months, which undoubtedly means we need to ensure we drink more than usual. On top of this it really helps to have a small face towel with you, which you can soak in cold water and pat it on your body to cool you down. I would say carry wet wipes but hot wet wipes are counterproductive when trying to cool down – so I’ve found a small towel drenched in cold water and placed on the back of your neck or on your forehead is the best thing!
- Make the most of water activities – Generally most residential buildings have some form of access to a communal swimming pool, hotels will have packages where you can use their facilities for a cost and there are of course the water parks – all of which will make the summer days much easier to handle. As Dubai is equipped for the summer, you will notice they make use of temperature controlled pools and with the right sun protection, pool side drinks and dipping in and out of the water – you will have the most perfect way to spend those dreaded summer days. Pool days in Dubai aren’t a luxury – it’s a MUST lol 😂
- Lastly, covering your head – I remember when we first moved to Dubai and we saw people walking in the blazing heat under umbrellas – I thought they were crazy – fellow Brits will understand me when I say umbrellas signify cold and wet weather – not Dubai heat lol!!! Well, after two years of scorching summers we’ve figured out any way of covering your head actually helps! Hubby often wears the traditional Emirati head scarf (Guthra/kuffiyah) loosely draped over his head and he tells me it helps a lot! You can opt for thin caps, or other scarves etc, whatever you’re most comfortable with, to act as a barrier between your head and the heat!
So I hope these small tips help you all beat the Summer heat in Dubai – if there is anything you’ve learnt from your expat countries on handling the extreme weather conditions, we’d love to hear them! Oh and just to give you an idea of where it feels like Dubai is situated during the Summer months, here is the most accurate photo lol!