UAE's icy winter: Long-time residents say this is the coldest ever

Dubai - Water froze over in some parts of the UAE for the third day straight today.

Screengrabs from vidoes shared by @Storm_centre on Twitter and Instagram‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏.
Screengrabs from vidoes shared by @Storm_centre on Twitter and Instagram‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏.

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 11 Jan 2021, 6:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Jan 2021, 6:43 PM

With the UAE recording sub-zero temperatures twice in three days, long-time residents are feeling a chill in the air. Al Ain’s Raknah area recorded -1.2 degrees Celsius (C) on Monday — two days after recording -2°C.

Icicles formed in the area as water froze over for the third day straight.

Residents, who have been in the UAE for decades, say that this is the coldest winter they have experienced. The chill is being felt in the mornings and evenings.

Om Prakash Malik, 83, does yoga for an hour daily. His winter yoga regimen helps him to stay fit. Some simple stretches on a yoga mat helps his body to stay warm.

“These days, we look for the sun and a spot in the house or outside. This winter is very cold so far. I came to the UAE in 1978. Back in the day, we’d experience a lot of dust storms. The visibility would be very poor. However, the weather conditions have changed dramatically through the years.

“There is a misconception about the UAE that it is hot throughout the year. Winter in the UAE does get very cold for a few weeks every year. This year, it feels the coldest in many years,” said Malik.

BK Senani, who came to the UAE in 1979, reminisced that such bone-chilling cold conditions were a far cry those days, when mercury soared and humidity was unbearable.

“I distinctly remember the heat used to be unbearable, when I first came to the UAE. But the UAE’s visionary leaders invested in greener spaces and parks and pollution free modes of transport like metros and electric cars. The farsightedness has resulted in cooler temperatures. Though it’s pleasant weather, senior citizens like me feel cold. Besides, a lot of people are choosing to stay indoors due to the viral outbreak,” he said.

Majority of UAE golden-agers are convinced that this has been a colder winter than usual.

Wintry memories

Some winters have also left an indelible memory of icy rains and the occasional light sheets of snow.

Ram Buxani, who has been in Dubai since 1959, pointed out that he certainly ‘feels the change’, as the days get cooler.

“My wife says she feels cold when she touches the water in the kitchen. I also feel this year has been relatively colder than other years, as we hear the nighttime temperatures in the mountains and desert are freezing cold.

“Youngsters like pleasant weather because they like to go on hiking trails on mountains. I’m enjoying the winter wrapped in shawls, as there has been a significant dip in day-time temperature as well,” he added.

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