meanwhile, in the sandbox …

With temperatures finally dropping slooowly but surely over Dubai, I’m so beyond ready to say bye-bye-bye to the oven that is Dubai’s summer! You’d think one would get used to the summers here after a few years, but you don’t. No matter how much you try to prepare for it mentally, that blast of heat that hits you as soon as you walk out the door will leave you gobsmacked – every time! At which point, you’ll inevitably think to yourself … “It’s definitely way hotter this year, right?” Wrong! It’s probably about the same – you’ve just forgotten what HOT really means.

It’s little wonder there’s a huge exodus during the summer months – there’s not a lot you want to do in 45ºC heat. Alas, not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to retreat to cooler climates for months on end, which leaves us with the only other feasible option – hibernation. For us, our summer days are spent cocooned in our air-conditioned flat, car, malls etc; basically any indoor activity that revolves around air-conditioning and keeps us away from the inferno outside.

On days that madness overcomes me and I brave the heat to walk the 5 mins to the grocery store, I pretty much burst into flames – yes, that’s really what it feels like! And just when you think it can’t get any hotter, someone flicks on the high humidity switch and you’re suddenly transported into a sauna, feeling a little like the wicked witch of the west as you melt away to nothing. On the bright side, at least your sweat is putting out the flames!

The funny thing is, even with the soaring mercury, you still have to carry a shawl around because temperatures in the malls are often set to ‘Arctic’ degree – which is fine by me. Give me cold over hot any day. Also, because you’re spending so much time indoors, you can actually begin to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency – I always emerge from summer hibernation a few shades fairer and only get my tan on in “winter”. Oh, the irony.

Coming from the tropics, I think the thing I miss most in all this heat is rain. I can honestly say that in the 3 years we’ve been here, I’ve only been caught in the rain once, or should I say drizzle. It was so light and sporadic, I seriously thought someone was spitting on me. That’s not to say it never rains – I’ve just never been lucky enough to experience it.

But all said and done, Dubai is of course well equipped to deal with its heat. From air-conditioned bus shelters and metro stations to indoor theme parks, water parks and pop-up indoor sport venues, not to mention the multitude of malls and restaurants, there’s still plenty to keep you occupied. I just wouldn’t head to the beach to cool off because sea temperatures can reach a peak of 35ºC, so it’s more onsen than godsend.

Now with “winter” on the horizon, people are starting to emerge from their cubbyholes to finally enjoy a little fresh air. But with day temperatures still in the low to mid 30’s, I won’t quite be reaching for my boots just yet.

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