Dubai has a sub-tropical, arid climate, with clear skies, sunshine, and high temperatures throughout the year. Rainfall is rare and erratic. Any showers are usually in the winter months (December to March).
Average maximum temperatures range from 24°C in January to 41°C in July. The best time to visit Dubai is between December and March when the temperature is pleasant in the daytime and cool in the evening. Not surprisingly, this coincides with the peak tourist season and the most expensive hotel rates.
July and August in Dubai are uncomfortably hot with a furnace-like average high of 41°C. Most visitors will find themselves camped up in their hotel, shopping mall or other air-conditioned location. Many residents take a long break and leave the city. If you don’t plan on spending much time outdoors this is the best time of year to get great hotel deals.
Dubai weather is characterised by a tropical desert climate with hot, sunny conditions created by its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and the Northern desert belt. Summers are very hot, humid and dry with temperatures climbing to 40 °C and higher and rarely dropping below 30 °C. Winters are still warm however temperatures drop considerably to highs of 23 °C and lows of around 14 °C. Although the weather in Dubai is usually fine, rainfall has slowly been increasing over the last few decades, receiving annual precipitation of up to 150mm in recent years. However, as with most Middle Eastern climates, Dubai’s rainfall is irregular and brief.
Much of Dubai’s annual rainfall occurs between December to March however temperatures remain warm and despite the expected rainfall, the period of December, January, February and March is considered Dubai’s most comfortable period of the year, climactically. February is Dubai’s wettest month with an average of 35mm of rainfall while June is considered the driest month with little to no rain. Overall, the months of January, April, July, October and November receive a fairly average rainfall while the months of May, August and September experience much lower levels of rainfall.
Another characteristic of Dubai weather, particularly during summer, are the low pressure systems that develop over the country creating strong north-westerly winds known as Shamal that blow across from Saudi Arabia and become unpredictable and gusty by the time they reach Dubai, often stirring up the desert sands, reducing visibility and occasionally creating sandstorms that can sometimes last for a number of days.
It’s worth noting that Dubai weather and climate varies from region to region, with temperatures and humidity differing between the coastline and desert. During winter, temperatures on the coastline are warmer while those in the desert are much cooler and humidity is higher on the coastline than in the dry desert heat. Even the sea temperatures can reach as high as 37 °C with humidity of more than 90%.