A city with year-round action, but is there an ideal time to visit Dubai? We look at the seasons and special events in 2024 that you may want to plan your travel to Dubai around.
In this guide to the best time to visit Dubai, we’ll cover
Is There a Best Season to Visit Dubai?
Dubai doesn’t really work on traditional seasons of the northern hemisphere, moving from mild to hot to very hot to extremely hot!
You are better off assessing Dubai on a spectrum of how much heat you can manage!
Some prefer the late spring when outside conditions are perfect for the beach, whilst others prefer the very coolest winter months of December to February, when there is a plethora of outdoor activities going on, though the beach may be too chilly and crowds are at their peak.
What to Expect Winter in Dubai
Dubai in the winter is a magical place to be. Packed full of seasonal outdoor events and plenty of hours of sunshine to enjoy with very limited rain.
The coolest months are January to February, where daily maximums usually reach 25°C/77°F, and overnight lows dip to 15°C/59°F. The sea temperature in winter dips on average to 23°C/73°F, which can be a little chilly for some.
Midwinter festivities start from National Day in early December, accompanied by Rugby 7’s and Christmas (yes, even in a Muslim country, it’s still full of festivity). The mild weather sticks around until April; then things rapidly heat up by the end of May.
What to Expect Summer in Dubai
Life in Dubai largely moves indoors and to the evenings during the hottest months. Peak summer temperatures can be as high as 50°C (122°F), though average in the low 40°’Cs.
Be mindful not only of air temperatures but sea temperatures which can rise to 32-35°C mid-summer – not exactly a refreshing ocean dip! You’ll want to check that your accommodation has a temperature-controlled pool.
By October, the temperatures start to recede, and humidity drops, then by November, you are back to the mild and pleasant winter.
What Weather Should I Expect in Dubai?
You can learn more about the exact weather, including sea temperatures, rainfall, and humidity to expect each month in Dubai here:
Special Events in Dubai – Month by Month For 2024
You can also learn more about special events and occasions to be aware of when planning your trip to Dubai here:
Common Questions about Dubai Weather
Yes! It might take you by surprise, but rain is possible over the cooler winter months (or it could stay completely dry!) Over the last 10 years, it has rained on average five days of the year.
No need to pack an umbrella just in case. If it does rain, it’s best to stay put if you can until it passes. It’s unlikely to go on for hours, and during peak rains, the roads can flash flood, and driving becomes chaotic.
Yes! Dust or sand storms are a common occurrence in the UAE. Maybe not the extreme that you see in the movies (looking at you, Mission Impossible!) But nonetheless, there can be a lot of dust in the air. In fact, Dubai often has a permanent hanging layer of dust spoiling the skyline. You experience this less so in Abu Dhabi and the other Emirates.
The problem in most of the UAE is the fine layer of dust that develops pretty much year-round. A hazard of being in the middle of the desert. Those with severe asthma and other respiratory conditions should keep abreast of the AQI if it’s dusty out.
Yes! The most common atmospheric condition you will encounter after dust is fog. This can cause havoc, particularly in the winter months with the major airports.
There’s no way of predicting it in advance, but one of those things you might need to factor into your travel plans if it occurs during your visit. Normally it burns off by late morning, but it can make overnight and early morning driving hazardous (more so than usual!) and delay planes at DXB.
We would joke that the only time Dubai has seen snow is when Ski Dubai arrived!
It has, in fact, snowed in the Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah! The last time this was recorded on the country’s tallest peak, Jebel Jais, was in January 2020. Jebel Jais in the Hajar Mountains can experience temperatures up to 10c cooler than the coast.
In Dubai itself, though… very unlikely, but never say never! This is Dubai, after all.
Religion & Religious Holidays in Dubai
As a Muslim country, as well as following the Gregorian calendar, the Hijri Calendar is observed.
Note that the weekend has recently changed from Friday/Saturday to Friday afternoon, Saturday & Sunday for the public sector. These days of the week are generally much busier than weekdays.
Public Holidays in Dubai
The main Muslim religious observances in Dubai and the UAE are:
These dates move forward roughly ten days each year compared to the Gregorian calendar. Actual dates are not confirmed until the moon is sighted, and the Government may move the actual dates that the public holiday is observed.
Catch our complete guide to Dubai Public Holiday Dates in 2024 here – you can also use this tool to convert religious dates on the Hijri calendar to Gregorian dates.
The UAE also celebrates
- New Year’s Day on 1 January annually
- Commemoration Day (previously marked on 30 November, then 1 December; there was no public holiday declared in 2023)
- National Day on 2-3 December annually
Although not marked as public holidays, there are many international religious events that you will also find observed on a wide scale in the retail and hospitality industries in Dubai, including:
Ramadan in Dubai
It’s important to observe each year when the Holy Month of Ramadan – the 9th month on the Hijri calendar will occur (the start date changes by approximately 10 days on the Gregorian calendar each year). This is a period of deep religious reflection for Muslims and is strictly observed.
Ramadan in 2043 will start approximately 10 March and end on 9 April 2024.
The most important thing to observe is fasting, with no eating in public allowed, but also no public displays of affection, and ensuring the modest dress code is strictly followed. It can be a little confusing for visitors to know exactly what to expect, and rules and social norms are constantly changing.
We wouldn’t advise against visiting at this time, but you will have a slightly different experience; joining in with iftar (the evening breaking of the fast) and overnight festivities such as suhoor and late-night shopping are great reasons to visit at this time of year.
The other thing you may observe is businesses and attractions closing during the day and only open in the evening. This happens less and less nowadays. Dubai has very much adopted a “business as usual” approach to Ramadan in recent years, aligning with the peak tourism season.
School Holidays in Dubai
Visitors should be mindful when local school holidays occur in Dubai.
Most Dubai schools work on a three-term school year from September to December, January to March, and April to June (though some Asian curriculum schools operate a different school year).
School holidays occur locally:
- Late March to early April
- Most of July & August
- Mid-December to early January
Some schools also have mid-term breaks in late October, mid-February, and late May.
If you visit at any of the peak school holiday times, expect hotel accommodation to cost more and attractions to be MUCH busier. At these times, you will want to book in advance and arrange for skip-the-line tickets if possible.
Seeing attractions earlier in the day, you will always encounter fewer crowds than in the evening; it is very much a stay-up-late and evening culture in Dubai, even for families.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.
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