UAE winter weather temperate as ever for Christmas

With winter having officially started in the Emirates yesterday, December 22, the country will experience the mild weather typical for this time of year throughout the festive period, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said.
Mahmoud Al Haji teaches his son Ibrahim, 7, to ride his bike while holding his younger son Khalid, 2, at the Khalidiyah public garden in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National
Mahmoud Al Haji teaches his son Ibrahim, 7, to ride his bike while holding his younger son Khalid, 2, at the Khalidiyah public garden in Abu Dhabi. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // The roughest weather residents and visitors will face this Christmas is a slight increase in wave height – which could make for decent surfing conditions.

Other than rougher-than-average seas, with waves possibly reaching 8 feet on Christmas Day, the holiday weather outlook is temperate and clear.

With winter having officially started in the Emirates yesterday, December 22, the country will experience the mild weather typical for this time of year throughout the festive period, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology said.

With temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C and daytime humidity anywhere from 25 to 55 per cent on Christmas Eve and the following day, there are plenty of reasons to stay in town over the festive period.

One of those embracing the country’s amiable climes is Racha Assaf, 27, who chose to spend Christmas in the UAE as opposed to going home.

“Last Christmas I decided to go back to Montreal for the Christmas feel, with family and the presents,” said the Montreal native, who arrived in Dubai from London, on Friday.

“But I needed a break from winter this year. Its very depressing.”

Ms Assaf has chosen to spend her two-week break in the UAE enjoying the outdoors, something she is not normally able to do, either in the UK or back home in Canada, in winter.

“Honestly, the weather is the main reason I came and I’m enjoying the beach, eating on restaurants’ terraces and walking around the souq – something I could do every day,” she said.

Having seen the abundance of festive decorations in hotels, malls, shops and restaurants, Ms Assaf said she was happy that a sense of Christmas could be felt in the air.

Ms Assaf was joined by her friend and fellow Canadian, Nadine Jarmak, who has come to the UAE for the first time.

“I can’t take the winter in Montreal anymore,” said the 27-year-old, who wanted to see the Emirates in person after recently considering moving to the country.

Enduring more than five months of winter weather every year, coupled with shovelling and de-icing her car for up to 30 minutes before beginning her daily commute, has proved to be a bit too much for Ms Jarmak. “You don’t have those limitations [here]. People seem to be more alive and don’t have to battle the winter blues like you do at home,” she said.

The weather also brought Mustafa Al Zuhairi to the country where he spent some of his childhood. “It’s not only the cold that is a problem, it’s also the lack of daylight,” said the 26-year-old Australian, who moved to London several months ago.

“It isn’t much fun over there, but I plan to enjoy the outdoors here,” said Mr Al Zuhairi. Taking advantage of the country’s water parks and going on a desert safari are a few of the activities he has planned for his two-week stay.

Tourists seem to be escaping to the UAE in increasing numbers, judging by hotel occupancy rates. St Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island has reported a 5 per cent increase in occupancy this Christmas and New Year compared to last year.

tsubaihi@thenational.ae

Published: December 22, 2014 04:00 AM

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