Dubai - Best Time - Things to Do
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When is the best time to visit Dubai? It depends on what you are wanting from your vacation. Whether you are looking for sightseeing, hot air ballooning, dune bashing, quad biking, sunbathing or shopping holiday, do not fear because Dubai has it all. A strong factor of deciding when to visit will be the weather, specifically the humidity and temperature, hotel prices and crowds.
Spring (March - April - May)
Best Time for Beach Fun!
- Hotel Rates: Medium - High
- Crowds: Medium - Low
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Still excellent in March. Otherwise not perfect, but good
- Shopping: Great indoor and outdoor
- Beach: Warm water and cool golden sand
This is a great season to visit Dubai because the weather is heating up but is not incredibly humid. It's bearable to be outside in the sun, even in May. It's a great time to head to the beach in April and May because the sea is a comfortable 26°C to 28°C and the sand won't burn your feet yet. In March it could still rain sometimes with a little cooler water temps around 23°C. However, it's very unlikely than rain will spoil your trip as the rainy days are few and far between. Also, in early spring nights get slightly chilly sometimes. While it is not hugely common, sandstorms can occur during March and April, but very rarely in May. As the season passes there are fewer tourists because temperatures often reach around 37°C by the end of May.
Summer (June - July - August)
Best Time for Budget Travellers!
- Hotel Rates: Lowest prices all year!
- Crowds: Low
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Too hot for some tours. Evening desert tours are still good
- Shopping: Summer sales have started
- Beach: Too hot, except for early mornings or short late afternoon visits
Summer in Dubai is incredibly hot and very humid. Average high temperatures exceed 40°C. Is it still ok to visit? Yes, if you can tolerate heat or are used to it. For us, it was still great. For other visitors these conditions are a no-go. Full days at the beach or a visit after lunch is definitely a not something you should try. However, visiting the beach in the morning or in short bursts later in the afternoon is definitely possible. Destination experts suggest beach visits in the extreme summer months from 6 a.m. - 8 a.m. and in the afternoon after 4 p.m. Otherwise stick to the hotel pool. But still, wear sandals or flip-flops at the beach any time to avoid burning your feet. It's also not a great idea to visit the beat during the extreme heat with younger children.
Due to the boiling heat there are fewer tourists than any other time of year, which is a major plus if you plan on visiting the cities sightseeing hot spots because the queues are short. Don't worry about the heat if you'd like to do late afternoon/evening desert tours: It's a little cooler in the desert, and vehicles are air conditioned as well. Also, hotel prices are low. If you have a strict budget this is your time to experience all that Dubai has to offer.
Autumn (September - October - November)
Best Time for Sightseeing Tourists!
- Hotel Rates: Medium - High
- Crowds: Medium
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: All tours are open
- Shopping: Still good for indoor and outdoor malls
- Beach: Still not very comfortable until mid-September. More fun in October and November
Although we included September in the autumn section here, you'll definitely experience summer temps until mid-September. Which means you are dealing with the same challenges as in the summer months in early September. Temps get more pleasant at the end of September. If you are looking for comfortable weather and smaller crowds as well, then the end of Autumn is the best time for you to visit. All tours are operating, meaning you don't need to miss out on anything. The only con is the hotel prices are increasing, so book well in advance. The beach is a common activity when the average high temperatures fall to 35°C - 31°C in October and November.
Winter (December - January - February)
Best for Shopaholics!
- Hotel Rates: Most expensive! February is the cheapest month in winter.
- Crowds: High
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Places get crowded. Besides that, it's a good time for sightseeing and other outdoor tours
- Shopping: A great time for shopping!
- Beach: Not the best time for sunbathing or general beach fun but possible on certain days
The desert heat is at its weakest making it a pleasant time to be outside in the fresh Dubai air. Rain can also be expected, especially in February. However, it usually doesn't rain for days in Dubai. It's more like brief rain showers which can occur. Due to the colder temperatures, beach days are irregular, but some days can provide beach fun. The temperatures vary from 20-25°C. Sandstorms occur every now and then, so take appropriate precautions.
Is winter still a great time for being outside at the beach? Yes, especially in December. However, in January and February the weather becomes a little unpredictable. A lot of days are not sunny and very windy in both months. It really depends on someone's luck to get sunny days in a row for beach weather. Just keep in mind that the water temperature is too cold for most visitors. But still, some enjoy swimming regardless of the sea temp. What about the desert in winter? The desert is comparatively cooler on these months than the rest of the year.
Due to Dubai Shopping Festival this the best time to visit Dubai, if you are a shopper. The festivals take place in January and February. But don't forget about Christmas because the many extravagant and luxurious malls have amazing sales pre-Christmas. The most popular malls are the Mall of Emirates and The Outlet Village in Jebel Ali.
Dubai has the typical desert climate. Especially the summers are extremely hot and humid. For weather details for each season, read our guide above. Most days are sunny throughout the whole year.
If you're looking for some water recreation and swimming, the water temperatures are usually great from spring through autumn. In winter it's a little to cold for many visitors.
Time of Day (Safari Tour - Things to Do)
Morning Safari Tour
Morning desert safari tours start early in the morning around 8 am and offers a calming desert expedition. The serene drive to the outskirts of Dubai city takes about 45 minutes and the whole experience takes about 3 hours to complete. Morning Desert Safari is the best way to enjoy the desert in the mellowed sunshine and enjoy activities like dune bashing, camel riding and hot air ballooning in the desert. A sunrise desert safari offers an incredibly serene experience to witness the beauty of the Arabian Desert. This tour starts at pre-dawn where you can watch a tranquil sunrise on the desert horizon. The tour departs at 4.30 am and continues for approx. 4 hours.
Afternoon Safari Tour
Afternoon desert safaris are for the adventure junkies. Those who don't mind the sultry desert heat can have a great time enjoying adrenaline rushing sand sports. Gear up for an exhilarating day teeming with sand dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding, and many more thrilling desert sports. These tours start around 3 pm and extends for 6 hours where you wind up the tour with a scrumptious Arabian dinner and traditional entertainment.
Evening Safari Tour
For those who feel they cannot bear the stifling desert heat can forgo the adventure options and opt for evening tour which starts with a serene desert sunset view followed by a night filled with cultural activities. An evening tour offers you the scenic splendours of the Arabian Desert with quintessential Arabian hospitality and entertainment. A dinner in Desert tour lets you enjoy a blissful evening in Bedouin styled campsite. These tours start around 4.00 pm and wind up in 5 hours. The overnight tour stretches your pleasant evening to an all-night experience filled with recreational activities, mild adventure sports, traditional folklore and fine dining experiences. An overnight desert tour starts around 4.00 pm and ends the next day with drop off to the hotel.
More Outdoor Activities
For incredible tours in Dubai, check here: Dubai Tours and Outdoor Action (they have the best guides!) These are the most amazing activities you'll love (they usually include transfer/pick up from your hotel - very comfortable):
First, you step inside and watch as they release the balloon. Starting to ascend over the Dubai's iconic sand dunes, you already know it's such a fascinating experience. But something else makes it special, while gliding up to an altitude of 4,000m ...
Dubai is a beautiful and exotic place that has many different activities to offer tourists. The structural designs of the building in this glorious Arabic city are astonishing. You have to see them to be believe them.
Leaving behind the glitz and modernism, come back to where it all started… at the origin of Dubai’s reality. The secluded expanse of golden sand dunes takes you through a journey entwined in an ‘out-of-the-box’ adventure experience and cultural immersion. While the desert comforts you with its tranquil vibes, it also enthralls you with adrenaline spiking adventure tours.
The Desert Safari in Dubai is the ideal way to witness the contrasting vistas of Dubai’s stunning panoramas. Dubai’s Desert Safari tour also lets you witness how jovial and exciting a trip to the desert can be. Begin your day with a breezy ride to the outskirts of Dubai which in no time turns into a wobbly ride on the uneven sand dunes of the desert. Once in the heart of the desert, enjoy a day teeming with thrilling activities like 4x4 dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding, and camel rides. The day turns crimson and it is time for you to witness one of the most memorable sunsets of your life. Bathed in miles and miles of golden amber hues, the desert looks spectacularly gorgeous.
For the complete Dubai Desert Safari experience, extend your desert trip way into the night at the desert camps. As twilight sets in, you experience the calming aura of the silent desert which soon turns pitch-black accentuated solely by the millions of twinkling stars above. After you reach the desert camp, relax and unwind with soothing music, refreshments and engage in recreational activities such as henna tattoos and Arabic shishas. Spend the rest of the evening in the nonchalant settings of Arabian music and traditional performances such as belly dancing, Tanoura dance, and fire dancing shows. Enjoy a scrumptious Arabian barbeque dinner that mainly consists of marinated chicken kebabs, Tabbouleh, hummus, and aromatic biryanis. These traditionally cooked delectable dishes in authentic flavours will certainly linger on your taste buds for a very long time.
We had the best experience with these guys: Desert Safari Dubai