Everything you need to know about visiting Dubai in January
January enjoys the mildest weather of the year making it a popular time of year to visit Dubai and enjoy its many outdoor events and natural highlights.
The first week after the New Year is still quite busy, but you will find for the rest of January, there are fewer crowds than you’d ordinarily experience in Dubai in December making it the ideal time to visit.
The weather is on the cool side for water-based activities – some water parks may close late in the month for annual renovations – but there are still plenty of things to enjoy around the city and beyond without the stifling heat of the hotter summer months.
Further Reading: The best times to visit Dubai
Dubai weather in January
Dubai’s average day time maximum temperature in January is 24.2°C (76°F), with highs as much as 31.8°C (89°F) and overnight lows averaging 14.6°C (58°C).
In January, you should expect sea temperatures on average of 23.9°C (75°C). Maximum sea temperatures are expected of 25.9°C (77°F) through to a minimum 22°C (73°F).
Both rain and fog can commonly occur in January. There is little you can do to prepare for them but if it rains, seek cover fast as it can pour hard and fast, but tends to clear quickly.
Fog tends to form overnight and burns off during the morning – do factor this in if you are planning an early morning Burj Khalifa visit – you may be looking out on a blanket of white, or with brilliant views of the skyscrapers poking through the clouds!
Dubai Special Events January 2020
- The Dubai Shopping Festival 27th Edition is held from 17 December to 31 January 2021 at venues all over the city.
- The Dubai Marathon, 10km road race and 4km Fun Run will be held in late January 2021, passing many of the city’s most famous landmarks (awaiting date confirmations)
**Note that some water parks do their annual maintenance in the coolest winter months, some rides and attractions may be closed. Check these dates with popular attractions such as Aquaventure, Wild Wadi, Legoland Dubai and Laguna Waterpark at La Mer before booking tickets to avoid any disappointment.
Suggested Dubai activities in January
January is perfect for cooler weather activities, but possibly too cold for being in the water, so why not try Dubai from the sky while day time temperatures are manageable?
- Skydive Dubai from the iconic Palm Jumeirah
- Enjoy an early morning hot air balloon ride over the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
- Take a helicopter flight over some of the city’s most iconic landmarks
- Not for the faint-hearted, Zipline over the Dubai Marina
Places to visit in Dubai in January
Keeping with our theme of the great outdoors, we suggest in January in Dubai you visit:
- Dubai Global Village – for a whirlwind trip around the globe and a feast of colour and magic hidden on the outskirts of Dubai. Entry is super cheap for the experience you get, open from 4:00 PM to midnight (1:00 AM on Thu/Fri) Mondays families & ladies only.
- Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – Open all year round but best visited in the cooler winter months when migratory bird numbers are at their peak. This is one of Dubai’s best outdoor nature experiences so close to the city where you can observe mangrove life and the most treasured guests the pink flamingoes.
- Al Seef Waterfront – transitioning from old to new Dubai, the Al Seef Waterfront is a great new venue for dining creekside and watching the daily traffic pass, perfectly combined with a tour through the Al Fahidi District and the Dubai Museum.
Day Trips from Dubai in January
It’s a great time of year not only for exploring Dubai but exploring around the Emirates. We suggest January is the perfect time of yeat to make a day trip to:
- The Liwa Desert – head beyond Abu Dhabi and toward Saudi border to experience the rich red dunes of the empty quarter and historic forts from a bygone era. Best to go with an experienced 4×4 driver to tackle the giant dunes. Look out also for the Liwa International Festival Moreeb Dune (likely cancelled 2021 – consider border crossing restrictions at present).
- The Musandam Peninsula – a whole other country in a day? Why not?! Musandam is our absolute favourite part of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s the tiny enclave of Oman that sits to the very north-east of Dubai & the UAE, jutting into the straight of Hormuz. Here you can sail by traditional boat amongst the giant mountainous that have earnt it the nickname “the Norway of Arabia” and enjoy dolphin spotting on a truly magical day out – best tackled with a guided tour to get you through the border crossing process (the Oman/UAE border re-opened in December 2020).
- Visit the historic Oasis City of Al Ain – home to the UAE’s listed UNESCO world heritgae sites. Situated in Abu Dhabi Emirate on the Oman border (south of Dubai), Al Ain is a treasure trove for culture-seekers. Birthplace of the country’s founding Father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan there are many museums and historic forts to explore, as well as the Al Ain Oasis and the 5000-year-old Jebel Hafeet beehive tombs.
(NB, at time of writing there are still border corssing restrictions into Abu Dhabi Emirate from Dubai, you can learn more here)
Dubai with Kids in January
Try one of the exquisite outdoor family Brunches on a Friday or Saturday afternoon for delectably delicious food and kids entertainment galore – from candy bars to bouncy castles. Most hotels will let under 6’s in for FREE, and 6 to 12-year-olds eat at 50% off.
For a real treat, we highly recommend you try Bubbalicious at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi (also one of our top pick family hotels) or head out to Dubai Parks and Resorts to enjoy the Lapita Daycation package, including pool access.
Elsewhere across the city, a favourite for active kids is venturing out to Mushrif Park to take on the ropes courses and ziplines at Aventura – courses are ideal from about 6 years old plus, or they have a juniors area too. If you happen to catch a rainy day, check out these indoor trampoline centres and multisports venues in Dubai.
Although the beach water can be sool this time of year, a fun place for kids to experience is the waterfront venue La Mer. From Laguna Waterpark to Roxy Cinemas, a skate park and fabulously colourful and instagrammable beach huts and kiosks it’s a lovely mild winter’s evening out.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here: