Burj Khalifa over sizzling sand dunes Dubai in Summer

Is Dubai THAT hot? What to expect visiting Dubai in Summer

by Dubai Travel Planner

Dubai gets hot in the summer. Really hot. We’re talking up to 50°C (122°F). But is it still worth planning a stopover, or even a longer holiday in Dubai over the hot summer months?

Yes, it’s going to be sweaty hot, but it’s also a city built to deal with the extreme temperatures.  A summer stopover in Dubai may not be as unbearable as you think – let’s see what you can expect!

Dubai Summer Survival Guide

In this guide to what to expect during summer in Dubai, we run you through;

If you are looking for winter travel in Dubai, pop on over to these Dubai in winter guide


Dubai Temperature – How hot does it actually get in Summer?

Whilst summer averages are reported at 45°C (113°F), it is quite typical to experience day time maximums up to 50°C (122°F). The hottest month of the year is August in Dubai.

“Summer” in Dubai realistically runs from May until October.

Dubai Air Temperature Chart
Information sourced from the UAE National Centre of Meteorology climate report 2003-2018 for Dubai International Airport.

What you feel in Dubai and what is actually reported in the peaks of summer can also be two different things!  You need to take into account not only the temperature but the humidity too.  It helps if you have a weather app that gives you the “feels like” temperature as well!!

The humidity in Dubai tends to be more noticeable in the latter half of summer August to September.

It’s also important to note that overnight, although you don’t get the powerful heat of the sun, the temperatures really don’t drop really below 30°C (86°F).  You can certainly see and do a lot more after dark without the glaring sun and heat, but be realistic about what can be done at night time too.

Let’s agree, it’s hot.

You can learn more about Dubai’s weather patterns and the best time to visit here.

Also check out these monthly weather guides for

MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER


Dealing with the heat in Dubai

Dealing with the summer heat in Dubai for most tourists is not nearly as difficult as it might seem,  First up, nearly everything is airconditioned to the max  – even too cold.  You will arrive in an airconditioned airport, transfer to an airconditioned car or Metro train and arrive at airconditioned accommodation.  Even bus stops are air-conditioned in many locations!

Dubai desert heat skyline

Whilst the outside air temperature is extreme, most hotels will chill their pools in the summer months to make them a refreshing retreat. Swimming is still best tackled early morning and late afternoon/evenings.

The same cannot be said for the ocean, however!  You will need to be mindful that the salty waters of the Gulf can be too hot for swimming in over summer (32-35°C/90-95°F); it will feel more like spa water than a refreshing break.

And in case it isn’t obvious, the sand becomes excruciatingly hot in the summer. It only takes burning sand becoming trapped in your sandals or flip-flops once to work this one out, let alone if you dare attempt to walk on it with bare feet!

Hot Sand Warning sign in the UAE

Dressing for the heat in Dubai

You should always dress sensibly for the heat.  Please don’t have any misconceptions though that ladies need to be wearing a full head covering or burkha! This means ideally wear loose cotton clothing that is still respectable.

We have a full guide on what you should expect to wear in Dubai here.

A couple of important summer clothing observations:

  • Tourists need to note is the difference between “resort wear” and what you wear in public.  Although this seems to have relaxed over the years (maybe too much?), as a sign of respect, keep the skimpy clothing and bathers only to the pool & beach.
  • When walking through hotel public areas, on public transport, in malls and restaurants, you should ALWAYS dress respectfully for the Muslim country you are in. At a minimum, think covered knees and shoulders for both sexes and nothing too clingy and revealing – yep, you will see a lot of people flaunting this “rule”.
  • Stick with cotton/rayon and breathable materials. Man-made materials will leave you in even more of a hot sweaty mess.
  • Temperature drops between outside and indoor air conditioning can be extreme. Make no mistake you will still want to pack a wrap or cardigan for those indoor blasts of cold!

Keep our Dubai Packing List saved somewhere handy.


Places to visit in Dubai in summer

Whilst many seasonal favourites may be closed, there’s still plenty happening indoors to enjoy in Dubai over the summer months.

If you are looking especially for family activities in Dubai head over to this post to learn about 70+ indoor activities for kids.

Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa

One of the world’s largest malls still has a huge amount going on over summer. You could literally spend a couple of days here and not run out of things to do! Sitting in the heart of “Downtown Dubai”, some of our favourites at Dubai Mall include:

  • Burj Khalifa Observation Deck (Levels 124 & 125 “At The Top” advance booking essential). The entrance is through the Dubai Mall basement level.
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo you can view the world’s largest suspended tank from within the Mall for free, or come in for plenty of interactive water life experiences.
  • Kidzania Dubai – a real-to-life town where kids “work” to earn Kidzos to spend on fun activities.
  • VR Park a virtual reality theme park.
  • Dubai Ice Rink – indoor ice skating fun.
  • The Infinity des Lumiere – pioneering digital art in the region, various exhibitions are presented throughout the year.
  • Evening fountain show of Burj Lake, plus LED light show on the Burj Khalifa.
  • With the kids, don’t forget the giant Hamleys store, plus The Toy Store in the basement – plenty of FREE fun entertainment!
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Dubai Mall is certainly not the only shopping mall with a lot going on.  In fact, Malls are where most summer life circulates around in Dubai during the day.  You can also try a few more novel indoor ideas in Dubai such as:

Mall of the Emirates

Easy to reach on the Metro (adapt name stop Mall of the Emirates), sits about 30 mins away. Mall of the Emirates is fairly close by for those staying at any of the Jumeirah Hotels and only about 10 minutes away from the Dubai Marina/JBR area.

City Centre Mirdif

Situates south of Dubai city, this is a great suburban mall absolutely packed with entertainment and dining options. It’s not on the Metro so you’d need a taxi/Uber. Why not try

Times Square

A smaller community Mall that’s got a few key fun entertainment attractions for summer! You’ll find it on the Red Metro line, (Rostamani Tower is 300m away, 4 min walk or Financial Centre Metro  about 350m away 5 min walk)


Top Dubai tourist attractions to visit in the summer

These are the best ones for keeping cool inside, though you may still need to walk outside a little to get to them!

  • The Dubai Frame – superb views as well as interactive displays around Dubai’s past and present in Zabeel Park
  • Etihad Museum – learn more about the country’s recent history and journey to unification
  • The Green Planet Dubai – an entirely indoor biodome experience that transports you to a tropical rainforest (warm but much cooler than outside!!) at City Walk.
  • La Perle evening extravaganza by Dragone is one of the city’s most highly acclaimed stage shows with a permanent home in Al Habtoor City.
The Dubai Frame

Theme Parks

There’s a good detailed review here what you should expect at Dubai Parks and Resorts in the summer so you are fully prepared for just how hot it can be.

Legoland Dubai at Dubai Parks and Resorts
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There are a tonne more fun indoor activities from rock climbing to escape rooms that can all be enjoyed entirely indoors over the summer in Dubai – check out our complete Dubai indoor entertainment guide here.


Outdoor activities in Dubai over Summer

The main outdoor attractions that are still in full operation over the hottest summer months are the water parks.

Dubai Waterparks

REMEMBER: Even if you hire a cabana, wear sunscreen and stay in the shade, it can still be excruciatingly hot outside even at a water park. Be mindful of hot surfaces (wear flip-flops or non-slip pool shoes everywhere and be VERY careful of touching surfaces).

Outdoor evening activities to try in Dubai in Summer:

As long as you are prepared for it to still be quite sweaty, even after dark, you could try these evening activities in Dubai once the sun goes down.

  • Dubai Garden Glow & Dinosaur Park – previously a winter venue, this park stayed open over Eid evenings last year and looks like it may stick around for a much longer season to light up your balmy evenings.
  • Walk around the Al Fahidi neighbourhood, taking in many of the city’s museums and galleries and along the creek front at Al Seef before catching a traditional abra across the gold and spice souks in Deira.
  • The Walk in JBR, a popular outdoor dining district alongside the beach still has a vibrant nightlife, although outdoor dining is mostly removed in the peak of summer.
  • La Mer – not just the waterpark there’s also a vibrant nightlife district here that still has a good vibe after dark.
  • Souk Madinat Jumeirah – a much more modern souk experience, from here you get the spectacular views back to Burj Al Arab. Mostly indoor and airconditioned, lots of dining options and picturesque waterways.
  • A traditional dhow boat around Dubai Fountain Lake – see the Dubai fountains up close in this spectacular evening sound and light show.

You can find our complete guide to the best night time activities in Dubai here.

Should I do a Dubai desert safari in Summer?

Many desert safari companies do continue to run over summer, albeit on a reduced program.

We think this really depends on how you cope with the heat, but based on many years of experience, anything from late May to early October starts to get really sticky outside.

If you are heat lovers you may still enjoy it, but with young kids, I would be extremely cautious of recommending a desert safari in the summer. An option might be to take an early morning desert safari instead to beat the worst heat of the day.


What will be closed in Dubai over Summer

Our favourite attractions in Dubai that are NOT operational in summer (see links to find out when they will re-open, its variably around end of October/early November) include:

Many restaurants and attractions do now remain open throughout summer, albeit with very reduced programs or only opening in the evenings. Outdoor brunches stop in the summer and rooftop decks will only open in the evenings, if at all.

It’s always best to check opening hours from Ramadan (April onwards) all the way through summer for anything with an outdoor element.


Where to stay in Dubai over the summer

The good news is, almost anywhere is the answer. All Dubai hotels will be airconditioned, and it’s very uncommon to come across a hotel that does not chill their pool in summer.

If you stay in a hotel directly attached to one of the malls or souqs you will have excellent access to leisure and dining facilities without having to put a foot outside. Why not try;

Dubai hotels attached to shopping malls

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Best Dubai hotels attached to waterparks

See some of our favourite Dubai hotels that INCLUDE a waterpark or slides!

Dubai hotels with good summer facilities

Many hotel resorts also include mini water parks, lazy rivers, and kids clubs within their grounds. The choices are almost endless and the summer value can be fantastic. A few suggestions to try:

For a truly unique experience during your Dubai stopover – and if the budget will stretch – why not stay in a hotel with a private pool?

Aeriel view of Atlantis the Palm in Dubai

If you are only in Dubai for a very short stopover, you may opt to simply stay in the airport over the hottest time of the year. We have a complete guide to things to do in DXB Airport here.

Summer travellers may also be able to take advantage of the My Emirates Pass which provides discounts on scores of restaurants retail stores and attractions, simply by showing you have an Emirates boarding pass.

More frequently asked questions about summer in Dubai

When does it start to get hot in Dubai?


It really depends on what you feel is “hot”. Generally speaking, it starts to get too hot for outdoor activity by the end of May. Many seasonal and outdoor events will start to close at the end of April/start of May.

You will find little reprieve from the Dubai heat until the end of October.

Is summer a good time to visit Dubai?


Dubai can still be really pleasant and enjoyable to visit in the summer if you’re prepared to limit the amount of time you spend outdoors and set your expectations of what is possible to do in the summer heat.

If you have an interest in visiting many of the city’s indoor attractions and are happy to leave most of your outdoor activities until after dark, you can still have a great vacation in Dubai in the summer.

Is Dubai too hot in summer?


This really depends on your tolerance to heat and what you want to do in Dubai. If you’re looking for a beach vacation full of days on the beach and playing in the water with the kids, you may be better off waiting for the weather to cool a little from October through April.

If, however, your plans see you flying through Dubai in the hottest months, you can still absolutely fill an itinerary with more indoor activities and stay up later in the evening when the air cools (a little). Life just changes around a little in Dubai to cope with the heat.


Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

A final note.  We can’t stress enough that staying hydrated is key! If you do attempt to walk outside in the daytime heat take precautions, be realistic about how far you can go, and keep the Careem or Uber app on your phone!


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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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