It’s a quarter after noon. Time for the Big Boy’s nursery pick up. Nothing unusual about that - except the temperature reading on the car says 47°C. That’s 116°F. Scorching hot. Warmer than normal for this time of year - and a taste of things to come in July and August.
I started this blog talking about the sub-zero temperatures in Minnesota. Now we’re experiencing Dubai at its most furnace-like. Talk about going from the freezer into the frying pan.
But, actually, it’s supposedly quite comfortable at the moment due to low humidity. By mid June, a lot more moisture will roll in from the Arabian Sea, pushing humidity levels into the ‘high stress’ zone. If your sunglasses steam up a split second after getting out of your air-conditioned car, then you know the humidity is more than 80 percent. Combined with temperatures in the mid-40s, it’s hardly surprising that most expats - and many locals - take off on extended holidays to cooler climes.
Going about daily life under the blazing hot sun does take a bit of know-how. Good advice is to act like the Spanish - get up early to do things, take a siesta
Hot and bothered outside the Emirates British Nursery.
Despite the blistering heat, traditional Arab women cover up in a black abaya (the men wear white!).
after lunch and stay indoors until late afternoon when it’s bearable outside again. All very well - but what about the 12.30 nursery pick up? (and the fact that a siesta is about as appealing to the Big Boy as a time out).
Nursery pick-ups go something like this: arrive and park in the desert parking lot; dash in perspiring madly (and, of course, being Dubai, you can pretty much guarantee that glamour mom will effortlessly glide by, complete with deep tan, designer shades and bling); hope that the Big Boy isn’t in the late room (which involves a fine); fall out with the Big Boy as he wants to be carried in the sweltering heat; get back to the car, which by now has turned into an oven, and fall out with the Big Boy again as he takes forever getting into his seat - “Max, we’re going to roast,” falling on deaf ears.
Our afternoons are spent indoors - or in water. Dubai has wonderful water parks and the beaches are amazing - though in summer the sea can reach 35 degrees and feel more like bath water. Park trips are twilight, not daylight, affairs. We
rely on air conditioning, of course, and it’s so powerful that if you’re going to the cinema you might want to wrap up. Thanks to cheap oil and gas, the Middle East has poured enormous resources into controlling temperature. Some 60 percent of Dubai’s hefty power bill is for air conditioning and I read that each person living here has a carbon footprint of more than 44 tons of CO² a year.
If the heat gets too much, you can always hit the ski slopes! Yes, even here in the desert, it’s possible to ski, toboggan and snowboard - at Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates. Five runs with real snow, a huge snow park, ski school, a St Moritz Café...they’ve thought of everything. Elsewhere in Dubai, there are even plans to create the world’s first refrigerated beach. The credit crunch has apparently put these plans on hold for now, but once the economy regains momentum, the hotel owners hope to lay pipes containing a coolant under the sand so guests can walk comfortably across the beach on boiling-hot days. They want to refrigerate the swimming pool, too, and install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze
over sunbathers. Ambitious, certainly - but then the sun really can go to your head here. Of course, for proper cooled sand, we could always try Blackpool. 8 Signs you Know It’s Summer
• Your tan begins to fade
• Taxi drivers roll up the window really fast to stop the hot air from coming in
• Wet patches appear on the back of your knees
• You can get everywhere easily as everyone’s gone
• Any traces of rain are reported in the newspaper
• Manual labourers sleep in the shade between noon and 3 p.m. but have to compensate for their break by working into the evening
• The wind feels like it’s coming from a giant hairdryer
• You arrange to meet friends in the park at 6 p.m.
Tot: 0.085s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 7; qc: 44; dbt: 0.0434s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb