You want to go to Dubai? We don’t blame you. But what’s the best time of the year to visit this desert oasis?
The answer is a little more complicated. It depends on what the “best time to visit” means to you. Do you mean the best time to shop? The best time to hit the beaches? The best time to ride a camel on a desert odyssey?
Depending on what you want to do, what weather you’re looking for, and how much money you’re trying to spend, that answer can vary from person to person.
To keep it simple, let’s look at it in terms of seasons. Dubai only has two: summer and winter. We’ll cover the perks and problems of both and you can decide which is best for you.
these reasons are valid but not the most popular motivation. The most popular motivation to travel is to relax.
Some say Winter
Dubai’s weather is (unsurprisingly) best in the winter, which lasts from around October until March. Even though it’s a desert, it experiences some substantial fluctuations in the temperature throughout the year.
Many think January is the best month to come to Dubai, The average high is 77°F and the low is 61°F, truly ideal winter weather. It’s the perfect time to do just about anything outdoors in Dubai. You can lounge on the world-class beaches, visit exotic souks (the traditional marketplaces), or explore the beautiful, protected desert sands, and you’ll never have to say, “Boy, it’s hot out here today.”
Thanks to the weather, it is also the most popular season in Dubai. That means prices are generally a bit higher and there is more foot traffic just about anywhere you’ll go. That’s not to say Dubai ever feels crowded, but it is busier with the influx of travelers.
Others say Summer
There are some misconceptions about the summer weather in Dubai. Is it hot? Absolutely (the low is usually in the 90’s). But that doesn’t mean it always feels hot.
Technology is a beautiful thing and has allowed Dubai to give the perception of having a comfortable climate (even when it’s scalding outside).
Air conditioning is everywhere: The malls, the restaurants, even the bus stops. Everything is shielded from the desert climate with cold, recirculated air. AC is such a commodity in the UAE, in fact, its stock rises and falls with how the country is doing as a whole.
But it goes beyond that. Many hotel swimming pools feature coolers that lower the water to the ideal temperature. Outdoor coolers are popular as well, keeping you feeling fresh if you’re having lunch or grabbing a drink on the patio.
Also, you get more bang for your buck in the summer months. Promotions and lower rates are quite common, between experiences, accommodations, and travel (airfares especially). And, if you’re not a fan of crowds or lines, the summer heat helps you avoid all of that. Travel traffic slows down in the summer months, leaving you plenty of room to breathe.
The desert is open 365 days of the year
If you’re trying to stay cool, it might seem counterproductive to visit the desert, especially in the summer months. But science will tell you that water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas to moderate the earth’s temperature.
What does that mean to you? Because there’s no water in the desert, it doesn’t trap heat. At night, the desert is about 12°F (7°C) cooler than the coast. That means that the best place to be outdoors during the Dubai summer nights is in the desert.
That’s what’s great about the desert safari. Whether you come in the winter or the summer, you get to experience the great outdoors without ever feeling overwhelmed by the heat.
You can cruise over the desert dunes in vintage 1950’s Land Rovers and enjoy some shisha alongside a gourmet Bedouin feast. You can gaze up at the stars with an experienced astronomer or ride camels and receive henna tattoos. The choice is yours, but there’s never a bad time of year to experience the desert at night.
Book your desert safari in advance
A word to the wise: as the winter months approach, we sell out of our desert safaris very quickly. Make sure you book them well in advance. You have a bit more leeway in the summertime, but our growing popularity means you have to book further and further ahead of time.
If you’re thinking of stopping over in Dubai, take a look at our full
Dubai Stopover Guide