Dubai is known for its hot and humid climate. For many, that's part of the appeal of a holiday here; for others, it's a little off-putting. Whichever camp you fall into, it's worth familiarising yourself with a few simple ways to handle the heat - after all, staying comfortable will make for a much better trip.
And, if you're really troubled by the thought of high temperatures, knowing what to do to keep cool can make all the difference to your holiday - and can even convince you to take the plunge and book if you're still wavering!
How to keep cool in Dubai
Take beach breaks
Sun lover or not, most people spend at least some of their time in Dubai on the beach. After all, they're one of the emirate's major attractions. Enjoyed responsibly, the beach can be a great spot to refresh yourself - just think of cooling off in the tempting water!
However, to make sure you don't get too much sun, you should take a few precautions. As well as wearing appropriate sun protection, take regular breaks from direct sunlight. Simply ducking under some shade for a while every now and then will do you good, but it's also worth getting out of the heat entirely by popping into beachside cafes and restaurants for refreshments regularly. This is a good way to make sure you remember to stay hydrated too. It's particularly worth staying out of direct sun during the hottest hours of the day (between midday and 4pm).
Take regular showers
On a hot day, there's little more refreshing than a shower, so embrace any temptation you have to cool off in the bathroom and treat yourself to more than one a day. Your extra shower will be particularly refreshing after a busy day of sightseeing, so why not pop back to your hotel room for one before dinner? Alternatively, a shower just before bed can help you feel cool and ready to sleep. Just remember not to have the water too cold (as tempting as that may be!), because you don't want your body to react to chilly water by heating itself up.
Pick the right clothing and accessories
How you dress can make a big impact on how comfortable you feel in the heat. The first step is to resist showing as much skin as possible - even though when it's hot it's tempting to wear as little as possible. This is because skin exposed to direct sunlight will often feel hotter (and of course there's the risk of sun damage), so you can actually feel cooler if you cover up a little more. However, the clothes you use to do this are important.
Crucially, you need to pick the right fabrics. Avoid materials such as polyester or nylon, which tend to be very uncomfortable in the heat. Instead, opt for something like linen, cotton or chambray. These fabrics are all light and breathable, allowing any moisture to escape rather than staying next to the skin, with linen being particularly effective in hot and humid conditions. Opting for light colours, meanwhile, will also make a big difference.
Don't forget to wear a sunhat and high-quality sunglasses too. These can protect your face, eyes and head from the glare of the sun and help prevent any headaches that might dampen your holiday experience.
Visit Ski Dubai and the Dubai Ice Rink
Dubai has a host of air-conditioned indoor attractions, so whether you fancy going shopping, visiting a theme park or something else entirely, it's almost certain you'll be able to do so away from the glare of the sun. For the ultimate way to cool off indoors, pay a visit to either Ski Dubai or the Dubai Ice Rink, which provide a pleasant change from the desert climate. They each have plenty to offer both adults and children, which means all kinds of travellers can have fun here. You'll find Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates, and Dubai Ice Rink in the Dubai Mall, so it's easy to combine visits to either with a spot of shopping, a meal out or any of the other activities these colossal shopping centres offer.
Arguably, there's nothing more important than staying hydrated when it comes to beating the heat. The best way to do so is to sip water regularly throughout the day - this is more effective than drinking lots in one go only occasionally. Try to eat water-rich fruits and other foods, such as salads, as well - another simple way to ensure your body is getting the moisture it needs. These kinds of foods will also be really refreshing on a hot day, so they're likely to make you feel better immediately too!
Never go without sunscreen
You're likely to slather on sunscreen at the beach, but it's important to remember to do this whenever you will be outside in Dubai - even if it's only while you're travelling from A to B. This is because your skin won't be used to the intensity of the heat, especially when you first arrive, making the extra protection even more important than usual. Use a high factor that's appropriate for your skin type, and remember to reapply regularly.
Go out early or late
It also pays to time your activities well. If you plan to do something active, for example, it's best to start early in the day, before the sun becomes too strong. Alternatively, wait until the peak of the heat has trailed off and venture out in the evenings instead. This way, you'll avoid tiring yourself out during the hottest part of the day. You'll find that a lot of guided activities, such as desert adventures or hot air balloon rides, will take place early in the morning or in the evening anyway.
Beat the heat and enjoy Dubai
Dubai is an incredible holiday destination, so don't let the thought of the heat put you off. There are plenty of simple ways to keep cool while exploring all the emirate has to offer - and remember, you can always enjoy one of the many indoor attractions Dubai is home to if you want a little break from the sun.