Freezing fun in Dubai

This UAE winter has been one for the record books. Do you feel it too?

By Nisthula Nagarajan

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:36 PM

Brrrrr! Surely everyone in the UAE feels the chill of the fabled desert winter in UAE's coldest winter yet. Dubai's sweltering summers seem to last so long, it's hard to remember the last time getting out from under the cosy duvet was an almost impossible task. Even while indoors, we're stacking on layers of winter apparel, and the floor is much easier to walk on with a pair of thick woolly socks on.

A cold wave hit the UAE this past week, and areas in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai and Sharjah, due to the northeasterly winds sweeping through the inlands, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM).

January 9 was the coldest day of this winter season in Raknah, Al Ain, the mercury dropped to -2°C at 5.15am. On January 11, the same location recorded -1.9°C at 7.15am, while Damtha, Abu Dhabi, recorded 2.3°C recently, as well.

Local residents of these places excitedly shot photos and videos, which have gone viral showing off one of UAE's rare icy winters to the world. One man posted a video of the top layer of the water in his outdoor water tank that had frozen into a sheet of ice. Another snapped a photo of icicles hanging off of plants.

The NCM explained that this was due to cold air mass moving in from the east and northeast. Raknah faces especially colder temperatures than the rest of the country owing to its valley-like topography. The interiors of the UAE are expected to experience 5°C to 10°C with lower temperatures in the mountains. The coastal areas like Dubai and Sharjah will have minimum temperatures between 11°C to 17°C.

However, these aren't the coldest UAE has seen. In February 2017, Jebel Jais saw bone-chilling temperatures of -5.7°C due to a cold snap, leading to snowfall on the mountain.

This time last year, the UAE's highest mountain, Jebel Jais, was covered with snow when it dipped below zero. Many residents are hopeful for snow or hail, which leave parts of the country blanketed in snow-like ice.

In the city, with temperatures fluctuating between 17 to 25°C during the day, it's the perfect weather to take advantage of the great outdoors. Dine on the patio, balcony or rooftop, visit outdoor markets, embark on a trekking or kayaking expedition and discover the natural beauty of the nation, all the things you'll be too hot and bothered to do in a few short months!

Embrace the cold in comfort

. Wear at least three layers of clothes including a thick woollen sweater, a waterproof insulated jacket, winter gloves, scarf, beanie, woollen socks and insulated boots.

. Keep your legs and hands extra toasty with a hot water bottle.

. Be careful driving at high speeds as the road may be covered with sleet, causing cars to skid when the brake is applied.

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