Christmas in the sun

It's beautiful outside this Christmas: get out of your car and go for a walk.

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From the Corniche to Jumeirah Beach Road, convertible tops are down. Barbeque grills are sizzling. Joggers and dog walkers are out in force. And beaches are packed. If ideal weather could be bottled up, it wouldn't come much better than this.

It's easy to forget that it was only a few months ago - weeks for some - that everyone hid inside their air-conditioned apartments and offices, only emerging to make a quick dash to their airconditioned cars. The miserable summer months seemed to go on forever.

But the truth is, that for almost eight months of the year, we are blessed: from October to May, weather conditions are bearable, and at best wonderful. Which makes the obsession with the heat all the more difficult to fathom. Excuses to be lazy? Or maybe we've all become spoilt.

Admittedly, the summer heat can be unbearable, but it's no worse than many countries around the world. Christmas in the sun, anyone?

On a more serious note, the country suffers from the highest rates of obesity in the world; what a waste that a greater culture of walking instead or driving, never mind exercising, does not exist to take advantage of the superb conditions. And that's before we even talk about the environmental toll that our addiction to cars causes.

For now count your blessings because the miserable weather is just around the corner. Well, five months away anyway.