Dubai is known for its hot, desert climate, but the winter months still bring cooler temperatures. While January is typically the coldest month in Dubai, December and February also see average lows dipping below 60°F. Even on the “coldest” days, Dubai enjoys plenty of sun.
Average Temperatures by Month
Here are the average high and low temperatures in Dubai by month:
|Average High (°F)
|Average Low (°F)
- January typically sees the coldest temperatures, with average highs of 75°F and average lows dipping to 56°F.
- December and February are also relatively “cool” compared to Dubai’s normally hot weather, with average lows in the high 50s to low 60s.
- Even during the coldest months, Dubai still enjoys very mild, comfortable weather compared to most places, with 7+ hours of sunshine daily.
Why Winter Temperatures Drop
Though Dubai has a hot desert climate, winter months bring slightly cooler temperatures for a few key reasons:
Dubai’s rainy season runs from December through March. Cloud cover and precipitation help regulate daytime heating and nighttime cooling. The most rain usually falls in February.
Shamal winds blowing from the southeast give way to northwesterly winds coming from the Mediterranean Sea region in winter. These maritime winds bring in cooler, more humid air.
The sun sits at a lower angle in the northern hemisphere’s winter sky. Less direct overhead sunlight leads to less daytime heating.
In December, Dubai sees just under 10 hours of daylight compared to 13.5 hours in June at the summer solstice. With less daytime for the sun to warm the land, winter lows are cooler.
What to Pack for a Dubai Winter
Even during the coolest months, Dubai’s winter wardrobe differs greatly from wintery destinations. With highs in the mid-70s, pack light layers and clothes that breathe.
- Light jackets
- Jeans or pants
- Long sleeve shirts
Avoid heavy parkas or bulky sweaters. With low humidity but intense sun, the goal is to block solar radiation without risking overheating.
Carry sun protection year-round too – sunglasses and SPF are still essential!
Average Precipitation by Month
Though winter sees most of Dubai’s annual rainfall, the wet season contributes minimal precipitation compared to tropical climates. Here are the average monthly rainfall totals:
So while December through March make up Dubai’s “wet season,” even the rainiest months only see a few inches fall on average. Yearly totals measure around 4 inches annually.
Daily Temperature Fluctuation
One unique aspect of Dubai’s arid climate is the large gap between daytime highs and nighttime lows. In winter, days still heat to the mid-70s while overnight temperatures can dip to the mid-50s.
Late nights out may require a light jacket or sweater! With clear skies and minimal cloud cover, heat radiates rapidly away from the desert landscape after sunset.
These diurnal swings play a role in Dubai’s winter chill, especially early mornings before the sun has a chance to warm the earth.
Is it Comfortable Visiting Dubai in Winter?
Absolutely! For tourists used to dealing with freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and gray skies in winter, Dubai offers a refreshing change. Plus, peak tourism season aligns with temperate weather from November through April.
Though slightly cooler than Dubai’s sweltering summers, winter highs in the mid-70s with 7+ hours of sunshine daily allows visitors to enjoy all the Emirate offers. Sightseeing, outdoor markets, restaurant patios, beaches, pools, sports, and desert adventures remain comfortable and accessible.
Many evenings even retain enough warmth to dine al fresco without a jacket as overnight chill sets in. Compared to much of Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Canada or the northern United States, Dubai sees gloriously mild winters.
For the best experience, do prepare light layers and sweaters for overly air-conditioned spaces. Desert safaris and early mornings see more crisp temperatures under clear night skies as well.
Other Weather Factors to Consider
Beyond temperature, wind and humidity also shift in Dubai from winter to summer:
Winter humidity averages between 50-60% while summertime sees spikes between 80-90% humidity on the muggiest days. Monsoon winds bring in more moisture during the hot season.
Calm winds prevail in the cooler months while spring and summer see windier, sandier days. Gusty shamal winds kick up sandstorms more frequently from March through July.
Key Takeaways: Dubai’s “Coldest” Winter Weather
- With average highs of 75°F and overnight lows of 56°F, January sees Dubai’s coldest averages.
- December and February come in just behind with low temperatures in the upper 50s.
- Despite a hot desert climate, winter months offer a bit of relief, especially at night and early in the mornings.
- While the rainiest, “winter” still only sees a few inches of rain monthly from December to March.
- With minimal cloud cover, evenings cool rapidly in the desert. Pack an extra layer for nights out.
- Dubai offers gloriously comfortable weather for touring in the winter compared to much of the world.
Though summer heat tops well over 100°F during Dubai’s warmest months, peak tourism aligned with winter for good reason. December, January and February may offer the “coldest” temperatures, but daily highs stay in the mid-70s with plenty of sunshine through March.
Dubai winters equate to temperate spring or fall days in many global destinations. With tolerable heat, less wind, gradual cooling at night and low rainfall, winter serves up prime weather for all the activities this world-class destination offers.
Regardless of the month you visit Dubai, preparing light layers allows adapting for hot afternoon sun or chilled evenings as massive diurnal temperature swings play out between day and night in the desert.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I wear in Dubai in January?
Pack light layers like sweaters, cardigans and jackets over t-shirts or breathable long sleeves. With average highs of 75°F, winter clothing is still quite moderate compared to many destinations.
- How cold does Dubai get in winter?
January overnight lows average 56°F while afternoon highs reach the mid-70s. With little humidity and rapid cooling after sunset in the desert, a light jacket feels pleasant during lengthier evening outings.
- What’s the coldest it has gotten in Dubai?
In recent decades, Dubai’s coldest recorded temperature dropped to just 50°F for brief periods overnight in January. However, the average low stays significantly warmer at 56°F.
- Will it rain during my December visit to Dubai?
Maybe! December kicks off Dubai’s mild rainy season which runs through March. However rainfall still only amounts to 1-2 inches monthly even in the “wet” months. Showers often pass quickly when they occur.
- Is December or January better to visit Dubai?
Both months offer similarly pleasant weather, though some find January ideal with the chance for rain showers. Holiday celebrations also run through early January. December welcomes warmer afternoon temperatures on average.
- What’s Dubai weather like in February?
As the last core winter month, February daytime averages reach 77°F in the afternoons before dropping to 58°F overnight. Humidity and rain showers remain a bit higher with the tail end of the rainy season.
- Are Dubai beaches too cold in winter?
Not at all! With ample sunshine heating the Arabian Gulf’s shallow waters to 70°F+ even in January, beaches remain comfortable year-round including for swimming. Do wear reef shoes during chillier months as sand retains nighttime coolness longer.
- Can you still sunbathe in Dubai during winter?
Definitely! With UV levels still extreme, applying sunscreen remains essential when lounging poolside or at Dubai’s gorgeous beaches even in winter. Lighter breezes make for pleasant sunbathing conditions into springtime.
- What’s the best month to golf in Dubai?
October through April offer peak weather for golfing Dubai’s spectacular courses. Mild temperatures prevail with enough warmth for comfort but lower humidity levels and heat than the summer season from May to September.
- Will I need sweaters for Dubai in March?
Maybe light ones! With highs averaging 81°F during afternoons, evenings cool to around 63°F as winter chill still occasionally surfaces in March. Indoor venues crank up the AC as well.
- Is it miserable stifling hot in Dubai during August?
Yes, August ties for the hottest month with an average high of 102°F. Combined with soaring humidity levels, many locals depart to cooler regions during the peak of summertime heat though attractions stay open.
- How warm is the Persian Gulf around Dubai?
Even during January and February, coastal surface temperatures measure around 75°F. Combined with high ambient temperatures, beaches stay comfortable year-round, only a bit warmer in summer.
- What’s the best way to stay warm overnight in the Dubai desert?
Desert nights turn quite crisp in winter, dropping into the low 60s or 50s. Warm layers help, but Bedouin-style camps offer cozy tent lodging with carpets, blankets and heating to keep guests comfortable overnight.
- Will 6 inches of rain a year seem very wet coming from a desert climate?
Not at all – it concentrates during the winter months, mostly falling in brief showers. With rainfall so minimal annually, streets dry rapidly, and sunny skies prevail through Dubai’s “wet” season.
- What’s the rainiest month in Dubai?
February sees the highest rainfall on average at just under 2 inches total. As the last core winter month, February also hosts the final stretch of Dubai’s annual rainy season before hot, dry summer takes hold.
- Do I need to pack a rain jacket for December?
Light rain jackets prove useful for winter months, although brief showers mean they may not see frequent use. Often an umbrella or hoodie resolves brief bursts so heavy-duty storm gear stays unnecessary.
- Will I need mosquito repellent in Dubai?
Minimal precipitation limits breeding waters year-round. The peak season aligns with higher humidity in spring and summer, but mosquito activity stays relatively low compared to tropical locales nearby like Kerala or Sri Lanka.
- What’s the best month for clear skies and no rain in Dubai?
From May through September, Dubai enters rain-free season with virtually no precipitation. Combined with minimal cloud cover, these months offer gorgeous sunny conditions with occasional gusty winds and blowing sand.