BEST TIME TO VISIT DUBAI

One of the questions I get the most from friends and family who want to visit Dubai is “What is the best time to visit”? It is indeed an important consideration, as the month you choose to come to Dubai will have a huge impact on what you can do and visit or not. Generally speaking, the UAE has a hot desert climate, with pleasant sunny winters and suffocatingly hot summers. I gathered below some information on weather, international events, and religious celebrations so you can decide what is the best time for you to visit Dubai.

You can also find a recap of Dubai weather and much more information in my article: 10 things you should know about Dubai.

NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARY

November to February is winter in Dubai and one of the best times to visit the UAE. Weather is mostly sunny and the temperatures oscillate in the low to mid 20°C. It is the perfect weather to enjoy Dubai outdoor activities such as the old souks, walking around the Marina, or enjoying a day out in the desert. The wind coming from the sea can be quite cold especially on the beach, and the sea temperature drops towards 20°C. For most of us living in Dubai, we consider it cold, but I am sure a lot of you will still find it enjoyable!

Evenings during winter in Dubai are chilly, so you might need a sweater or a jacket to dine outdoor for example. In the desert, the temperature at night can drop to 5°C, so you need the proper equipment to spend an evening or a night in the desert.

Winter is also the best time to enjoy a staycation is one of Dubai’s exclusive desert hotels like Al Maha Desert Resort, my all-time favorite.

Best time to visit Dubai

Since it is the best time to visit, it is no surprise that the Dubai calendar is full of exciting events! Here are only a few on them:

  • Expo 2020 – October 2021
    Due to the COVID-19 situation, Expo2020 has been postponed to 2021. It is now scheduled to run from October 1st, 2021, until March 31st, 2022.
  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – End November
    If you are visiting Dubai end of November why not take the opportunity to attend the spectacular Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Expect lots of glamour, glitters and great concerts (oh and some driving actions obviously!)
  • Dubai Rugby Sevens – End November / beginning December
    Dubai Sevens is the first tournament of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series, bringing Rugby top nations to Dubai since 1970 !
  • New Year’s Eve – 31st December
    On the Palm, at the Burj Al Arab or on the Burj Khalifa, the New Year fireworks are always spectacular !
  • Dubai Shopping Festival – January
    From 26th December to 31st January, all Dubai malls go on mad sales (including luxury brands), so it is a great time for a bit of retail therapy.

Religious and cultural celebrations :

  • Prophet Mohammed Birthday is celebrated around the 9th of November, and usually involves a couple of dry nights (ie. no alcohol served anywhere)
  • December 2nd is the UAE National Day, so expect to see a lot of flags and celebrations around the country.

MARCH TO MAY

Beginning of March, the temperature starts to rise, ranging from mid 20°C to low 30°C. It is one of the best time to visit Dubai, especially if you are looking for a beach holiday or to go desert camping. For examples, it is the ideal time to take a day trip to Zaya Nurai Island, a gorgeous private island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Exciting event: Dubai World Cup takes place in Dubai end of March. Betting is not allowed but you can expect a lot of extravagant outfits and heavy drinking. You might also get a chance to see HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, leader of Dubai, whose horses regularly compete.

Religious and cultural celebrations :
The holy month of Ramadan will fall in April / May for the coming years. During Ramadan, it is not allowed to eat and drink in public during the day and restaurant are either closed or only serving indoor behind curtains until Iftar (around 7pm). Eid Al Fitr (the end of Ramadan) celebrations lasts 3 to 5 days (usually dry days). I usually don’t recommend to visit during the month of Ramadan as you won’t really be able to make the most of your holidays. But if you do, don’t miss attending one of Dubai extravagant Iftars. The month of Ramadan follows a lunar calendar, and therefore moves earlier around 12 days each year. Dates of Ramadan for the next few years are expected to be as follow.

  • 2020: From April 23rd to May 23rd
  • 2021: From April 12th to May 11th
  • 2022: From April 1st to April 30th
Best time to visit Dubai

JUNE TO OCTOBER

Summer lasts from June to October, and it is definitely not the best time to visit Dubai. The weather is hot and humid, with temperatures regularly going over 40°C. Many days, the humidity makes the weather even more suffocating.

Temperatures don’t cool down much at night, so diner outside or desert camping is also not possible.

There is strong air conditioning everywhere in Dubai, so if you decide to visit the UAE during summer, you can still do some indoor activities, like shopping, going to the movies, escape rooms, museums etc. On the bright side, this is the low touristic season, so hotel stays are discounted.

Best time to visit Dubai

Religious and cultural celebrations :

  • Eid Al Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, is the holiest holiday in the Islamic calendar, celebrating Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God. In 2020, Eid Al Adha is expected to be celebrated from July 31t to August 32nd. It moves around 12 days earlier every year. These days are usually dry public holidays.
  • Islamic New Year is a public holiday in the UAE and usually involves a dry night. In 2020, Islamic New Year falls on Aug 19th & 20th and moves earlier around 10 days every year.
  • The Prophet’s birthday falls on 28th and 29th of October 2020 and moves earlier 10 days each year. The first night is usually dry.

Alright, now you know everything about the best time to visit Dubai, and I hope that will be helpful to plan your holidays. Did you visit Dubai already? Next time why not consider an Abu Dhabi holiday. The city is beautiful and deserves a visit on its own rights.


More posts about Dubai:


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17 Comments

  1. May 2, 2020 / 9:26 am

    Thank you for those useful reco Emmanuelle! I appreciate the fact that you also shared some of the events organized at each time of the year!

    • Emma
      Author
      May 8, 2020 / 2:46 pm

      Thank you Ophelie, happy you found it useful. šŸ™‚

  2. May 2, 2020 / 10:05 am

    I’ve never thought of Dubai as a destination before – only as a stopover. I’ve now changed my mind. You photos look so interesting. I would enjoy having the desert to myself for a while, if a man on a beautiful horse came to rescue me!

    • Emma
      Author
      May 8, 2020 / 2:44 pm

      Dubai is a very unique city and definitely deserves a least a few days visit. The desert is amazing indeed … if a man comes rescue you thought, he is more likely to be on a camel than a horse!!! Hahaha šŸ˜€

  3. May 2, 2020 / 10:40 am

    You pics are amazing! Do you have a guide of those locations? If not, you should make one – they’re epic!

    • Emma
      Author
      May 8, 2020 / 2:41 pm

      Hi Katie,
      Thank you so much! I don’t actually, but it is on my to do list. Since I am stuck here in Dubai for the time being, I want to put together more articles about this great city šŸ™‚

  4. May 2, 2020 / 10:53 am

    Can’t believe I haven’t been to Dubai yet šŸ˜€ It looks like such a cool city!

    • Emma
      Author
      May 8, 2020 / 2:45 pm

      It is a very unique city, between incredible modernity and traditions. It really deserves a visit:-)

  5. May 2, 2020 / 11:38 am

    An excellent guide to one of my favourite places in the world. Such stunning photography!

  6. May 2, 2020 / 11:59 am

    Such a cool blog post, I definitely need to check this before a trip to Dubai. It’s on our bucket list! šŸ™‚

  7. May 2, 2020 / 12:24 pm

    Hi Emmanuelle! Great content I love your photos! Thanks for letting us know on the cultural and religious celebrations and events! Good to know! I have been twice to Dubai during March and August ! I would travel back November to February!

  8. Bim
    May 2, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    The I’ve wanted to visit Dubai on and off over the years. I didn’t even factor in how different the season are. Winter Escape 2021!

  9. May 2, 2020 / 6:17 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing, this was really interesting. Loved the photos too, a great post!

  10. May 2, 2020 / 7:37 pm

    Such a great guide, thank you!! I have never visited Dubai but I really want to go! Will definitely aim for the spring like you suggest!

  11. May 2, 2020 / 8:37 pm

    Dubai is on my top 5 list of places to visit in 2021. Thank you so much for all of this information! I didn’t really know where to start šŸ™‚ Your photos are gorgeous also!

  12. May 3, 2020 / 3:44 am

    Dubai is so high on my bucket list! Really hoping to go there sometime this year or next šŸ˜ Iā€™ll definitely save this post for whenever I get the chance to go. Those events sound so fun!

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