When to visit ?

The very best time to visit the UAE is between September and May.

By September the summer heat is abating, although humidity can still be relatively high, blue skies are the norm and the evenings are warm. At this stage the tourist season is well under way.

Daytime temperatures are ideal during November, December, January and February (around 24 C), although the evenings can be a little cool. North-westerly winds (shamal) sometimes blow during these winter months, bringing choppy seas. Most of the annual rainfall occurs between December and March, but this tends to be in the form of short heavy downpours that rapidly clear away. Indeed some winters are totally dry.

By March–April, temperatures are beginning to increase during the day (early 30s), but humidity is still low and the evenings are warm.  The mercury continues to rise during May (late-30s), peaking from June to August. July and August can be quite hot (high 40s) and humid (100 per cent). However hotels and golf clubs and other facilities offer very good deals during the summer months and it is worth remembering that hotels, shopping malls, in fact all buildings, cars, buses etc., are air-conditioned.

Special Events

You may like to time your trip to coincide with one of the many world-class events staged in the UAE each year. The following lists some of these but there are many more! International performers from Mick Jagger to Placido Domingo also perform here on a regular basis.

Dubai Shopping Festival January/February
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship January
Abu Dhabi Film Festival Oct/Nov
Abu Dhabi Festival March/April
Abu Dhabi Gourmet February
Dubai Desert Classic (Golf) February
Dubai Tennis Championships February
Dubai Food Festival Feb/March
Dubai World Cup (Horse racing) March/April
Dubai to Muscat Sailing Race November
Art Dubai March
Dubai Summer Surprises July/August
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Motor Rally April
Dubai Film Festival December
World Tennis Championship (Abu Dhabi) December
Abu Dhabi Art November
Dubai International Rugby Sevens December

During Ramadan (the exact dates move forward by approximately 11 days each year), Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Visitors are requested not to eat, drink or smoke in public places during this time. Most restaurants are closed during the day, although food will be served in your hotel, either in your room or in a secluded area of the hotel. Alcohol is served in some emirates after sunset.

Despite these restrictions, there are certain advantages in visiting the UAE during at this time. You may be able to obtain discount rates on some hotels and once the daily fast is broken (by the iftar meal after sunset) the streets are a hive of activity, which lends a carnival atmosphere to the towns.

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