9 Tips for Surviving the Heat in Dubai

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Jamie Marshall

There have been several write-ups about the infamous Dubai heat, so there is not much left to be said. Unlike what most Westerners define as ‘heat’ back in their home countries, Dubai heat is very different and can be dry, dusty and relentless.

We are not talking about comfortable or even warm conditions that are usually experienced during warm summers in Great Britain… At the height of summer, during the months from May through August, (this can and does vary sometimes) temperatures are often above 40° but there are many days when the temperature can hover around the 48° mark!

Luckily, for those living in or planning to visit Dubai, most places from Government buildings to schools, shopping malls, offices, public transport and cars are air-conditioned in an effort to keep tourists and residents comfortably cool and hydrated. If you are visiting during the summer heat, we have our top nine tips to help you make the most of your holiday despite the scorching heat.

Tip #1: Take care with what you wear when outdoors

When you are out and about exploring and not in the comfort of an air-conditioned environment, choose your clothes carefully. Our skin is the largest organ in the body and its job is to help the body regulate heat by controlling the amount of moisture lost from the top layer of skin.

Contrary to what most people believe, wearing sleeveless tops and shorts which expose a greater amount of skin can lead to greater moisture loss in a very short period of time in extreme heat, leading to dehydration. Instead, choose loose comfortable clothing in lightweight and light colored fabrics to counter the effects of the heat. This will also show respect for the local culture and customs of Dubai, where wearing very skimpy clothes, particularly in public places can attract unwanted trouble.

Tip #2: Drink plenty of water

This may seem like rather obvious advice, but is often overlooked. Make sure to always carry water with you, even if for a short ride from your home or hotel to your destination. The best way to drink water is to sip a little water at regular intervals rather than gulping it all down.

Bottled water is available everywhere in Dubai. This is particularly important when you plan on going to the beach as many people cool off with a swim in the water and neglect to drink plenty of water at regular intervals. This can lead to mild illnesses such as a heat rash or sunburn or more serious problems such as heatstroke, which can be life threatening in some cases.

Tip #3: Head out early for outdoor activities

Although Dubai is predominantly desert, there are plenty of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed here. Bike riding along Dubai’s beautifully maintained highways or beach bike paths is a popular pastime while many other die hard outdoor fitness enthusiasts enjoy walking outdoors.

If you plan on outdoor activity during the summer months, it is best to head out early in the morning before 7 a.m. so that you will get a good couple of hours of outdoor fun before the sun reaches its strongest at around 10 a.m. Make sure to wear sensible clothes and shoes and as mentioned before, carry plenty of water and hydrate at regular intervals.

Tip #4: Cool off in the water

The UAE has plenty of water parks designed specifically for hot summer days so make it a fun day out by heading to one of these cool zones.

The Wild Wadi Water Park is packed with plenty of hair-raising rides perfect for thrill-seekers and has one of the largest water slides outside of North America. Wearing swim wear or a bikini is perfectly fine at the water park but do take a towel or cover up with a fashionable caftan or oversized T-shirt dress.

Tip #5: Eat smaller meals more regularly

There is a good reason why we feel less hungry during hot weather; this is our body’s natural way of regulating temperature. The heavier a meal, the more energy the body needs to expend to digest it, making us feel more lethargic. If you want to feel more energetic despite the scorching heat, eat fewer lighter meals at regular intervals. Cold soups, refreshing drinks such as an iced tea, salads, plenty of fresh veggies and fruits are all excellent summer foods and will give the body the nutrition it needs without draining its digestive resources.

Indulge in some spicy food! Although it may sound counter intuitive, research has shown that eating spicy foods increases circulation and makes the body perspire, helping to keep the body temperature down. So don’t shy away from that mouth-tingling spice – go for hot!

Tip #6: Enjoy a tepid shower

You might think this odd advice for a steamy day, but taking a lukewarm or tepid shower in hot weather is an effective way to regulate temperature. Cold showers will cause the body to produce more heat later on.

If you’re feeling really flustered, run your hands under cold water for a few seconds with your palm turned up or a quick feel-cool fix. There is a major vein running through this part of the body and contact with cold water will immediately cause the blood to cool down.

Tip #7: Take advantage of air-conditioned shopping malls

A trip to the mall is a great way of keeping cool and comfortable in an air-conditioned environment. Dubai’s malls are equipped with the best shops and plenty of fun kid-friendly activities to keep the kids busy while you browse around.

During the summer months, many malls will also have performances by world renowned artists showing off a variety of skills.

Tip #8: Use sunscreen

Use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen with a mid-range spf and follow re-application instructions diligently to ensure that you remain protected from harmful UV rays which can cause skin irritation and rashes, wrinkles and fine lines and premature aging. Prolonged exposure to the harsh sun, especially from around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on hot days may even lead to skin cancer so invest in a good sunscreen and carry it with you wherever you go.

Tip #9: Stay fit with indoor exercising

Dubai’s population, especially the younger generation, realize the importance of staying fit. If you absolutely hate the idea of sweating it out outdoors, there are a plethora of gyms from small corner gyms to large world-wide establishments such as Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness.

During summer months, many gyms offer promotions and discounts to draw in more members so take advantage and workout in the comfort of an air-conditioned gym. For those craving a little more excitement, head over to Bounce in Al Quoz where over a 100 connected trampolines can help you to jump your way to fitness and have a blast at the same time.

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