12 Signs You Know it's Winter in Dubai

Middle East
November 20th 2009
Published: November 21st 2009
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• It’s like someone’s turned the oven off and you can go outdoors again. Quite a euphoric feeling actually. You can visit the parks in daylight rather than twilight, start working on your tan, and you finally get over all those trips to the playareas at the malls (in fact, you realise that visiting these noisy, plastic super structures is quite fun when you only have to go occasionally, rather than every day).

• You have to get into a bikini to go to playdates. Well worth it once you get there as the kids love the beach, but involves preparation and angst. Beach playdates also mean packing as though you’re going on holiday, making getting-out-of-the-house even harder.

• Any hardiness you may have once had disappears. With the temperature dipping into the 80s rather than the 100-and-somethings, it starts to feel rather chilly round the pool.

• The nurseries and schools close for UAE National Day on Nov 26th, remain shut until Dec 7th (for the Islamic Eid al Adha holiday), open for just nine days, then finish for Christmas. Money well spent then.

• The traffic’s terrible again, and you reminisce about how easy it was to get around in the summer when everyone was gone. If our daily 90-minute commute in the car getting the Big Boy to and from nursery gets any longer, I WILL attempt to steal a helicopter, or at least put him on the nursery bus.

• You have a vague notion that Christmas is just around the corner, but keep forgetting….until it creeps up on you and you decide you really ought to take the kids to see Santa - which becomes quite a mission. He’s quite an elusive figure here (unlike our time in the States where he takes up residence in all the malls) and we finally found him last year, accompanied by two orangutans and a white hunter (what were they thinking?).

• The place is full of Brits on holiday, making the most of every ray of sunshine and enjoying plenty of après-sun at the nightclubs (though it’s by no means Ibiza - topless tanning, nudity and other indecent behaviours are a big no-no and the beach police can arrest you).

• You can plan on going to the beach next Tuesday, a week on Thursday, or the first Friday next month - the weather is ALWAYS the same! (when it does occasionally start raining during winter, you feel like dancing in the streets - until they flood as it’s just not geared up for rain here)

• You realise you actually really miss the changing of the seasons (boiling hot to hot is not quite the same - though I haven’t yet resorted to what I did while living in Florida: spending good money on autumn leaves to decorate the house!)

• Your kids aren’t sick with nearly as many coughs and colds as they were in colder climes, but do go down with a few exotic bugs. Infected spider bites, anyone?

• You get excited about travelling overseas and experiencing the cold, for a week or so at most!

• You decide Dubai is a really great place to live - until next summer. 😊

This blog is sponsored by a winter sun beach playdate, at which the Big Boy repeatedly stole the Tonka dump trucks brought by the kids playing next to us (the stack o' cups and rake I'd thrown in obviously not cutting it), while the Little Big Boy gatecrashed as many picnics as he could until a Mom took pity on him and fed him.

The stunning photography is provided by my fellow trailing spouse and friend Pia Han Lindberg, who, if she wasn't so busy raising kids, travelling to Afghanistan for work and amazing us all with her busy social life, could easily be a photographer. Read her blog at

Additional photos below
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Inside the Burj Al Arab Inside the Burj Al Arab
Inside the Burj Al Arab

(self-proclaimed seven-star hotel)

28th November 2009

Autumn in Bexhill
Hi Marianne et al, Thanks as always for the blog. So far Autumn here has been very mild with the temperature hardly ever dropping below 10 degrees C day or night (that may be about to change!!!). Not quite up to Dubai standards but it is saving on the central heating bills. We do occasionally see the sun but mostly it is wet and windy, especially the latter which has been a feature of our weather for most of this year. Otherwise all is well here and I shall look forward to seeing your Mum and Dad and hearing about their latest trip to Dubai. Hope Max had a great birthday. Love Ivan xx

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