It’s probably not surprising to learn the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has an arid desert climate. Despite having two distinct summer and winter seasons, the UAE remains warm all year round. The winter season (December to March) has a mean temperature of 20°C, while the scorching summer months can bring temperatures of up to 37°C. The UAE’s geographical position, flanked by the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in the north, the Hajar Mountains to the east and Rub’ Al Khali desert to the southwest, means temperatures can vary across its seven constituent emirates – but only by about five degrees. Most urban areas along the coast like Dubai and Abu Dhabi often see humidity levels reach up to 85%, particularly during summer, while inland areas remain significantly drier. If you’re after blue skies and hot heat – but not too hot – December to March is generally considered the best time to visit the UAE. With little rain too, it is the perfect time to hit Dubai’s water parks and laze on Kai Beach or make it part of a longer multi-centre holiday to the Maldives and Indonesia.

December – March

These winter months are the UAE’s peak season – and for good reason. Temperatures are at their most comfortable (25°C), the sun shines for eight to ten hours a day and rain falls on average just 0.2 inches per month. It’s also a great time of year to take a dip in the sea, with sea temperatures hovering at 24°C. Be warned though – this is the country’s busiest time for tourists so make sure to book well in advance.

April and May

Spring may signal the start of increasing temperatures but it is also when the country becomes its most festive. From Art Dubai and the Dubai World Cup to the UAE Awafi Festival, which honours the country’s rich cultural heritage through exhibitions and markets, dune biking competitions and high octane shows, this is the season for sun, beach and tradition. With average daily maximums of 34°C and humidity at 45% too, there is always time for balmy beach walks and cool evenings at glitzy beach clubs.

June – September

Unless you can handle temperatures in the high 30s and frequent sandstorms, we don’t recommend visiting the UAE in the summer. It is not uncommon for temperatures to reach 40°C and sea temperatures to hover around 33°C. Temperatures do tend to drop slightly in September to averages of 37°C and 38°C, but this is still likely to be too hot for most travellers.

October and November

Ah shoulder season. With winter approaching, you’ll find days (thankfully) begin to cool. Days hover around 33°C with average lows of 20°C and humidity levels begin to drop. So, if you’re after some pre-Christmas sun minus the crowds that tend to descend come December and January, this is the time to get it.

Useful information

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