While many parts of the world eagerly await the arrival of summer after months of cold and rainy winter weather, in the UAE we dread it. We are like characters from a reverse Game of Thrones, muttering darkly to each other ‘Summer is Coming’ during the last few weeks of winter. Temperatures here often hit 45+ degrees centigrade and during August and September humidity levels are extreme. In short, summers are miserable. We’re confined to indoors for the most part, venturing out only in the very early mornings and very late evenings if at all. I don’t even bother going outside from late June to late September unless it’s to be fully submerged in the pool with a cool beverage (see above pic) or when I’m running from air conditioned car to air conditioned buildings. As a result many of us Dubai inhabitants suffer greatly from cabin fever. Here are my tips on how to cling on to your sanity during these crazy hot months.
- Leave. Often. After several years of living here I can honestly say that this is the only way to survive living in Dubai full stop, let alone just during summer. I do love Dubai but it can become very claustrophobic. Summers just add to that, with the fact you can’t spend anytime outside. If you are planning to travel at all during the year it’s a good idea to time your trip to coincide with the hot summer months to give yourself a break. If you think you can’t afford to go anywhere think about not eating in order to afford the airfare. Leaving during summer and losing weight, it’s win win.
- If you’re not actually booked to go anywhere just yet you can dream about your next trip. This is what usually gets me through the rest of the hot months when I get back from being away. Endless trawlings of TripAdvisor and travel magazines and fantasising about cold, wintry climates are some of my favourite summer pastimes.
- Become an alcoholic. Nothing passes the time away like a drink or two, preferably in a chilled pool (see number 6)
- Build your dream autumn/winter wardrobe on Pinterest. You’ll never get the chance to wear most of the items whilst living here but it’s good to have life goals. Obsess about beautiful winter boots that you will never get to wear, even if you waste an entire month’s salary on them. (have never done this, honest)
- Become a lark or an owl. You can just about bear the temperatures for short periods if you’re out very early or late at night. What you’ll do at these times I have no idea but it might help with the claustrophobia.
- Get access to a pool by any means necessary. This isn’t that hard in Dubai as most developments will have a community pool. We installed a pool into our rented villa a couple of years ago. Sheer madness to add value to someone else’s house you might think, however, the fact that it has stopped us going completely insane during the summer months has meant it was money well spent.
- Feed your Netflix addiction. There really isn’t anything better to do so give in to the temptation and watch endless episodes of Scandal/Pretty Little Liars/The Walking Dead/insert your favourite series here
- Go to the mall/go ice skating/go skiing. The usual stuff you do in the desert.