Being the biggest city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai makes quite an impression on every single visitor. You get stunned by the beauty of its mesmerizing skyscrapers and breathtaking landmarks that attract people from different parts of the world. Rightfully so, Dubai has been named world’s most popular travel destination of 2022. Moreover, the city takes up the first place in the list of the world’s best places for family vacation. Being a home to some of the world's biggest skyscrapers and most luxurious hotels, Dubai has a lot to offer to its visitors, from traditional restaurants serving national dishes and picturesque white-sand beaches to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, one will never forget.
But before packing your suitcases, you should have in mind that Dubai has a hot and dry climate due to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and the Northern desert belt. The temperature can reach up to 40°C. So, when planning your travel to Dubai, it’s highly recommended taking into account the weather conditions and choose wisely the best time for you to visit this astonishing city.
When is the Best Time to Go to Dubai?
Typically, the weather in Dubai is warm all year round, with two distinct seasons–Summer and Winter and transition months in between. In a nutshell, the best time to visit Dubai is from the end of October to April. This time period is known as Dubai winter, when the temperatures are resting at the most comfortable level, giving you a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoor activities and explore the city. And of course, perfect weather attracts millions of tourists, who rush into Dubai’s most exquisite resorts to get their piece of sunshine. The average temperature is around 23°C. During summer months, from May to August, temperatures soar, but at the same time you can escape the crowds, as the tourist season is over. Traveling to Dubai in summer has its amenities.
Dubai during winter season
Average temperature: 23°C
There is a lot of sunshine with occasional rain during winter. This is the time of the year when it’s sunny but not boiling hot and visitors can enjoy sightseeing and all the outdoor activities like skydiving, desert safari, jet ski, sandboarding and many others. UV levels are pretty high all year round, so the best thing to do is to pack your sunscreen for your trip to Dubai.
The season sees a mild rainfall between December and March with the temperature gradually dropping as low as 15°C by January, but the heat starts slowly increasing in February.
However, you won’t be the only one to take advantage of the Dubai’s perfect weather during this time period. Millions of tourists from all over the world travel to Dubai to enjoy pearly white sands of Persian Gulf and the best weather, so you should consider making hotel reservations in advance to ensure its availability.
As winter starts in Dubai, the heat is slowly but surely decreasing, with an average temperature dropping to a satisfying 23 degrees. This is the time when the tourists rush into the country to get their perfect vacation under the Dubai winter sun. That’s when the peak touristic season starts. You can expect an average of 8 days of a relatively mild sun during the first months of winter, making it comfortable getting around Dubai and exploring its landmarks without a risk of an overheating. Still, don’t get fooled by the Dubai’s friendly winter weather and put on all the necessary sun protection accessories like sunglasses, sun hat and of course don’t forget to apply your sunscreen, as it’s your best friend in such extreme weather conditions with a hot and dry desert climate. Better safe than sorry, especially so in Dubai.
The highest it can get in January is 24ºC. It’s the best time for sunbathing in Dubai. The weather gets chilly in the evenings though, so you’d want to bring some warm clothes, as the temperature drops as low as 15ºC. Meanwhile, you can enjoy 11 hours of daylight, eight of them are full of sunshine with clear skies. This means that it’s well worth making the journey to Dubai’s picturesque beachside. The city can offer a handful of breathtaking beaches with clear-blue water and different activities like kite surfing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, flyboarding and diving.
Because of the rain season, the humidity in January and February rages from comfortable 43% to very high 91%. Nonetheless, it is one of the most pleasant period, weather-wise, if compared with any other months of the year. Sunbathing and swimming is a real pleasure as the sea temperature rests at 21ºC. The weather is still hot and sunny in February despite the fact that it’s the wettest month of the year. The average temperature is slightly over 20ºC with 4 days of rain. It’s the best time to visit Dubai as the day temperature is manageable and breezy evenings give you a break from the daytime heat. Remember, a sun cream is your best friend while in Dubai.
With the summer on the horizon, the temperature continues to escalate. By the end of March the rain season is almost over, so you can expect only 2 rainy days during this time. April is the warmest month of the winter, with an average temperature reaching 32 degree Celsius. As one can say, April is a good preparation for the Dubai summer, as it gives just a little hint of how hot the weather can get here. During this month, the sunshine hours increase to 10, whereas the sea temperature rises to 25⁰C, which is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. March and April can be regarded as transitional months between winter and summer, when the weather is still comfortable enough for the tourists to take the most of their holiday and enjoy exploring Dubai city. The best way to explore the city is to go on a Dubai Street Food Tour, so you can get a taste of what Dubai is all about.
Things to do in Dubai during the winter season
Go on an overnight desert safari camp-out with sandserfing, camel riding and BBQ
Meet the sunrise above the Margham desert in a hot-air balloon
Skydiving above Dubai artificial Palm island
Key events and festivals worth visiting in Dubai in winter
Besides mesmerizing landmarks, luxurious resorts with the best beaches, Dubai has so much more to offer. Here’s a list of must-visit events during winter months.
Dubai International Film Festival
Dubai Film Festival is the leading film festival not only in the UAE, but also in the Arab region as well. It’s an annual event founded in 2004, that usually takes place in December. It celebrates the talent of Arab filmmakers, stimulating regional film production. It’s a great opportunity to get to know Arab culture a little closer.
Dubai Shopping Festival
Dubai is renowned not only for its skyscrapers but also for the biggest shopping malls in the world, attracting shopaholics from all over the globe. This is why the Dubai Shopping Festival is one of the most iconic events. This is the most extravagant festival with interactive lightning installations, evening fireworks and drone light shows. Along with daily entertainment, visitors can expect amazing discounts on almost everything. Impressive fashion shows, music concerts with international superstars, outdoor markets, mind-blowing fireworks, unparalleled discounts and endless surprises — that’s what awaits visitors at the Dubai shopping festival.
When: December 15–January 31
Dubai International Jazz Festival
Dubai Jazz Festival is an annual event that attracts jazz lovers and musicians. This is the time when one can experience live performances of various genres like blues, funk, soul, contemporary and fusion. This festival features many internationally recognized artists, the most popular of them being Mariah Carey, Deep Purple, James Blunt, and John Legend. The show offers a great opportunity to experience different cultures and enjoy the best music.
Dubai International Boat Show
Dubai Boat Show is the largest and undisputed event leader in the region’s marine industry. This is the place where you can discover world’s best luxury yachts and superyachts, explore top-notch diving innovations and gadgets. The festival is a paradise for water sport lovers. Dubai International Boat Show gets together world’s leading yacht builders, boat buyers, sellers and enthusiasts. Paying a visit to this show will definitively make you want to have a yacht of your own.
When: March 1–5
Dubai World Cup
Dubai World Cup is a prestigious annual horse race, which is also one of the biggest in the world, attracting the best jockeys and high-class horses along with tens of thousands of fans. The event is held in Dubai since 1996. It is known to be the world’s richest horse race, with a price fund worth of $10 million.
When: March 28
The Marmoom Camel Race Festival
In April, you’ll get to see an amazing show where camels brought from all over the Middle East get to compete in racing. That’s a one of a kind experience Dubai can offer to its visitors. Hidden deep in the Dubai desert sand at Al Marmoom Camel Race Track, The Marmoom Camel Racing Festival is an old tradition that lives on to this day. The racetrack is next to Al Marmoom Heritage Village, a place where you can dive into the UAE’s culture and discover what makes this country so special.
The races start early in the morning around 7am. It’s highly recommended bringing binoculars with you so you won’t miss anything. At the end of the races, you’ll have an opportunity to pet camels and take some up-close pictures with the winner.
The UAE is a Muslim country, which means people get to celebrate religious events. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and the holiest one. It is believed, that during this time, the holy book–Quran has been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims all over the world, including Dubai, fast from sunrise to sunset, depriving themselves of eating, drinking, smoking, and having sex during that period. The only time when they’re allowed to eat is at night, after the sunset.
It’s important to know that the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycles, therefore the dates of Ramadan vary from season to season. If you are traveling to Dubai during Ramadan, then you can have yourself an authentic experience by trying the traditional dinner that locals have every night through the month called Iftar. At the end of Ramadan, there is a festival called Eid al Fitr, meaning “festival of breaking the fast”. Don’t worry, Ramadan will not put any limitations on your holiday, it will only enrich you culturally.
When: April 1–May 1
Dubai during the summer season
Average temperature: 37,5°C
Dubai sun is especially fierce in the summer, with the temperatures skyrocketing, reaching almost 50°C. The humidity and heat escalate during these months. Sandstorms come crashing down, which makes any outdoor activities impossible. The good news is that by that time most of the tourists had left the city, so it’ll be easy to book a hotel room at a nice price. During summer, people retreat from the beaches to air-conditioned malls, restaurants and indoor venues.
May officially opens the gates for the summer sun, spiking at temperatures as high as 37°C. You can expect no clouds and 11 hours of sun. Staying hydrated is the most important through the summer months in Dubai. June is considered the driest month with little to no rain. Temperatures reach around 38°C. The sea temperature is also increasing to 31°C. By August, the temperatures surpass 40°C mark. Considering the weather, summer is not the best time to visit Dubai, although, if you don’t mind the heat, it can be beneficial for you to come here during this time. In summer, Dubai hotels offer a sweet deal on hotel rooms, because the tourist season is over, and the prices go down significantly. You can expect the best prices on accommodation when traveling to Dubai in the summer.
At this time of the year, Dubai shifts most of the events and activities from outdoors to indoors, giving plenty of opportunities to explore a different side of the city and take a break from the heat.
Things to do in Dubai during the summer season
Dive into the World’s Largest Swimming Pool and discover a hidden underwater world
With the temperatures soaring during summer in Dubai, cooling off at Snow Park Ski Dubai is probably the best idea
Try scuba diving at Jumeirah Beach
Key events and festivals worth visiting in Dubai in the summer
Al Gaffal Traditional Dhow Race
Dubai Dhow Race is an annual long-distance sailing competition honoring the lost tradition of pearl diving. Held since 1991, the race is of great importance to the country’s identity. Dhow is a traditional Dubai wooden vessel that, back in the days, used to carry a variety of local wares across oceans to India, China and Africa. Dhows were also used by locals for pearling and fishing in the Persian Gulf. Around one hundred dhows take part in the Dubai race, covering the Gulf with its white sails. The dhows follow a historical route, taken by pearl divers returning from long trips at sea. The Al Gaffal term translates as “the return”. Spectators can not only watch the race onshore, anyone can as well become a part of this action by stepping aboard of the ferries specially charted for the event. Traditional events like this make Dubai one of the best travel destination in the world.
When: May 27-29
The Dubai Summer Surprises
Dubai Summer Surprises is an annual festival spanning over 6 weeks. It’s the best time for shopping in Dubai, as all the shopping malls, outlets, restaurants and hotels offer a wide variety of massive discounts. That’s when a shopping spree is the most exciting in Dubai. If you have a thing for special offers, and great discounts on your favourite brands, July is the best time to visit the shopping capital.
When: July 9
Dubai during the shoulder season
Average temperature: 30°C
As September comes, the weather starts to cool off, marking the end of summer. The average temperature through the shoulder season in Dubai is around 30°C, yet it still can get pretty hot on some days, with the temperature rising to 38°C. For those who can’t stand overcrowded hotels and streets full of tourists, October is the best time to travel to Dubai. The beaches are overwhelmingly empty, and the weather is nice throughout October.