Are you planning a trip to Dubai, but not sure when to visit? 

Before packing your bags and booking your trip, take a few minutes to read this article where I’ll outline the worst time to visit Dubai – the moments when soaring temperatures and humidity levels can really put a damper on your plans. 

The bustling capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, is located right in the Southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a modern miracle with insane architecture, luxury hotels, international restaurants, and a thriving nightlife. 

In fact, Dubai received 14.36 million visitors in 2022, offering a unique cultural experience from that of European cities and the rest of the Middle East. 

But, as with all destinations, there is a good and a bad time to visit Dubai.

I’ve lived in Dubai for over 7 years now and I know the best and worst time to visit Dubai to avoid the hot weather and the even higher humidity. 

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When Is the Worst Time to Visit Dubai?

While the period from June to August is the peak season and best time to visit most countries, these are actually the worst months to visit Dubai. 

The average temperature during this time is around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius – and that’s on a good day! On the 8th of July of 2023, the temperature reached a whopping 49 degrees Celsius. I’ve known it to get even hotter in the past. 

The hottest month of the year is usually August, so if you must visit Dubai in the summer months, you should really try to avoid August.

The high humidity levels also do their part in making you feel sweaty and uncomfortable the minute you walk outside your hotel. In some cases, the humidity can be around 100%. And even sea temperatures are soaring high during the summer months. 

Luckily, there are ACs almost everywhere in Dubai, even at the bus stops! So, you can always cool down quickly if you do visit Dubai in the hottest months. 

If you’re looking to visit Dubai on a budget, the hot and humid summer months would be ideal for you. However, if you want a relatively budget trip and cooler months, I recommend planning your trip between the months April and May or September and October. These times include the shoulder and low seasons, so flight and hotel prices will be a bit more affordable than in the winter, and it’s the cheapest time to visit (other than the summer). 

Weather wise, October is a fantastic month to visit. However, during October, prices can soar through the roof when GITEX takes place. It’s usually scheduled to take place mid-October, so you can expect an increase in accommodation prices and flights to Dubai (as well as busy attractions). 

View from Burj Khalifa
View from Burj Khalifa

The low season (being those hot and sweaty summer months) does give you the best chance to see the most crowded spots like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Creek, Ski Dubai, Burj Al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah without having to wade through crowds. But, you’ll definitely need to be able to take the heat.

Pssst! Burj Khalifa tickets tend to go quickly for the good timings (sunset and night) so be prepared and get your ticket in advance HERE.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Dubai?

I tend to advise people to avoid the hotter months altogether unless you have no other choice. In fact, locals and residents all flock to the airport during these months to travel elsewhere because we can’t tolerate Dubai’s scorching weather. 

Winter months are a good time to visit Dubai in terms of the best weather; November through March is the peak tourist season in Dubai. If you’re lucky to catch the Dubai Shopping Festival, held each January, you’ll find incredible deals and events taking place all around the city (including fireworks every weekend).

Abu Dhabi Mosque
Abu Dhabi Mosque

It’s beautifully warm in Dubai during winter compared to European and American cities. As a result, it’s an excellent chance to experience some warmth if you’re running away from Europe’s cold weather. 

Dubai’s visitors can enjoy sunny, pleasant weather and blue skies throughout this time of year. 

While Dubai doesn’t necessarily have a rainy season, contrary to some beliefs, it does in fact rain in the desert. And occasional short downpours are expected during this period, and a thunderstorm or two might hit too. This is because Dubai carries out cloud seeding during the winter months in order to make it rain. But generally speaking, this is the perfect time for sightseeing, beach trips, a desert safari, a day trip to Abu Dhabi, and other outdoor activities. 

Fog rising up on Dubai Marina towers
Fog rising up on Dubai Marina towers

March is the wettest month in the year, with an average of 1.1 inches of precipitation. And you may catch a foggy morning or two at this time too.

It hardly snows in Dubai, as it stays warm enough even in the coldest months. However, if you take a short trip to Ras Al Khaimah, a city close to Dubai, you might actually experience some snowfall in January. 

Head out to the desert for the day for the top rated tourist activity in Dubai – a desert safari!

Visiting Dubai During the Low Season

The tourist seasons in Dubai are divided into three sections. The high season or peak season is from November to March. The low season is from June to August, while the shoulder season includes April, May, September, and October. 

Worst Time for Outdoor Activities

If spending time outdoors at the Dubai Miracle Garden, Global Village, and heading out to the desert for dune bashing and sandduning, you’ll be disappointed if you come during the summer months. Dubai weather doesn’t allow for many outdoor activities during this time of the year. 

Desert Safari dunebashing
Desert Safari dunebashing

While some people can tolerate the extreme heat (I am not one of them), many outdoor activities won’t even be open in the summer. Many places close down until September/October. 

That said, you could always spend your day at Ski Dubai and enjoy the snow in the summer! 

Worst Time for Shopping

Dubai currently has about 96 shopping malls, and that doesn’t include the many Souks dotted around the city.  

This is a family-friendly city, and events and festivals take place all the time. So, whenever you visit Dubai, you’ll no doubt be able to find an exciting event you can attend. 

That said, shopping during the summer months might be your best bet if you’re looking for a deal. Dubai Summer Surprises is the main summer event where visitors enjoy exclusive shopping experiences, concerts, raffles, and dining experiences for a discount. It usually takes place from June to the beginning of September. 

That being said, the offers still don’t compare to the ones that take place during Dubai’s Shopping Festival. This is a highly anticipated event that attracts shoppers from all over the world. It’s an excellent opportunity for families and groups to enjoy parties, events, and outstanding shopping discounts. Nevertheless, this event takes place in winter, so hotel prices will be higher then. 

Worst Time for Crowds

There are literally hundreds of exciting things to do and explore in Dubai. However, the best months for avoiding crowds, other than the scorching summer months, is from mid-April to mid-May and from September to October. During these times, tourists can enjoy Dubai’s fantastic weather conditions while exploring some of its most incredible attractions in peace. 

Crowds watching the Dubai fountains
Crowds watching the Dubai fountains

I’d still recommend heading out early morning during these times to get the most out of your experience. This way, you can enjoy the tourists attractions and sights without having to battle through other tourists! 

Worst Time for Affordable Hotel Rates

Dubai has no shortage of hotels, and I’m not exaggerating when I say sometimes I go away for a few weeks, come back, and there’s a new hotel half built! This is great news for tourists because you’ll find a hotel room that suits you regardless of your budget. 

During the peak season, affordable accommodation can be challenging to find. Hotels are in high demand, so you should expect to pay more. All you other travel expenses will likely be higher too. So, this would be the worst time to visit Dubai if you’re a budget traveller. 

But, if you don’t mind the summer heat, the low season will be your best bet. Hotel rooms, even the low-budget ones, are air-conditioned, and you can always explore various indoor attractions to get you out of the sun, such as the Museum of the Future, Dubai Mall, and even taking in a show at La Perle.

FYI: The Museum of the Future tends to book months in advance so you’ll definitely want to prebook your ticket!

Visiting Dubai in Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, so it begins on a different day every year. Many tourists like to visit Dubai during Ramadan to experience something special. 

You’ll find Iftar cannons going off around the city before Iftar, as well as fireworks at the end of Ramadan to mark the beginning of the Eid holiday. 

Fireworks to mark the end of Ramadan and beginning of Eid
Fireworks to mark the end of Ramadan and beginning of Eid

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims don’t drink or eat anything from sunrise to sunset. If you visit during this period, you’d still find restaurants to visit, but you should respect the custom and not eat or drink in public. Eating and drinking in public is frowned upon outside of the touristy areas, and sometimes even prohibited. 

As a tourist, it would be great if you could be more respectful of the culture during this month. Wearing modest clothing and not smoking in public would be appreciated by the locals, although you can eat, drink, and smoke at your hotel. 

You should also be careful of your attitude and language because Muslims take Ramadan seriously. Ramadan is a month of peace and love, so you should avoid getting into heated arguments. 

It’s also a great month to engage in charitable events. If you ever get invited to an Iftar event to have a meal with the locals, you should accept this honor. You’ll never have a better feed than an Iftar! 

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​Conclusion to the Worst Time to Visit Dubai

Dubai is one of the world’s biggest popular attractions, and millions of visitors visit it every year to enjoy a bit of luxury, see the fantastic landmarks and experience the culture. 

Picking the right time to visit Dubai depends on the purpose of your visit. However, the summer months are the hottest, and people usually avoid them like the plague because of the high temperatures. So, they can be the worst months if you like to engage in outdoor activities. 

Wintertime is better because the weather is warm but not hot, so you can even go to the beach during this high season. Or you can plan your trip to visit Dubai during Ramadan to see how the Muslim locals experience this Holy Month. 

Whatever time of year you choose, I have no doubt you’ll find somewhere to go that will give you the relaxation and adventure you’re looking for!

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