UAE weather: Gloomy days and chilly temperatures set to continue

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Gloomy days and chilly temperatures are set to continue, to the despair of holidaymakers and delight of retailers.

Forecasters said a run of at least 10 cloudy days is the longest stretch they have seen in years.

The weather bureau said unstable conditions would continue next week, with daytime temperatures dropping to as low as 17°C.

“This is not the coldest period UAE has seen this year, but it is the longest period of unstable weather we have seen in a long time,” meteorologist Shawki Mabrook said.

“We do not expect any rainfall on Wednesday but it will be partly cloudy. Light showers and unstable weather are likely to return on Thursday afternoon and continue into next week.”

Holidaymaker Oskar Svenson travelled to Dubai to escape the Swedish winter – it was 1°C in Stockholm on Monday – but found little respite.

“I was expecting to go to the beach and work on my tan a bit, but the weather has been more European than Middle Eastern,” Mr Svenson said.

“It’s not as cold as Sweden but I’m surprised at how overcast it has been during the day. I went to the beach a couple of days ago but it was very windy and there was even a bit of rain.”

On the positive side, the inclement weather has given him the chance to explore the city’s cultural districts and spend a lot of time shopping.

“The good thing is that there is plenty to do in the malls,” Mr Svenson said. “I have also been to the museum in Al Bastakiya and been spending some time at the Creek and the Gold Souq.”

Abu Dhabi resident Yvonne Foley has family visiting from Ireland this weekend and hoped for some sunshine.

“We wanted to go to Yas Waterworld on Thursday and Yas beach on Friday, but now we have to go scrambling for alternatives,” Ms Foley said.

“The kids look longingly at our swimming pool every day and are leaving on Saturday. They came to enjoy the sun.”

Major outdoor events across the country have been cancelled or postponed due to bad weather in recent weeks, including Redfest DXB, the Truckers DXB Food Truck Jam in Abu Dhabi and Oasis Afternoons in Al Ain.

Waterfront restaurants that are normally packed in the winter have been forced to close their outdoor seating.

“Our outdoor deck has been closed for the past two weeks due to bad weather and we have restricted the area until it gets better,” said Luis Serol, manager of Catch restaurant in Abu Dhabi.

“Sometimes we have people who insist on enjoying the weather and sit outside, only to run back in when it rains.”

But some residents, however, are enjoying the chance to wear some seldom-used winter clothing.

“I have been in the UAE during the summer and know how hot it can get so this has been really pleasant,” American expat Nadja Mueller said. “It even got cold enough for me to wear a scarf and jacket earlier this week.

“But I have had to stick to the pool in my apartment block as the sea is far too rough to go out in.”

British expat Michelle Lees said: “It makes a nice change from the usual weather we have but what’s surprised me is that it’s lasted so long.”

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology says light showers are expected over Thursday and the weekend, with lows of 17°C and highs of 27°C. Humidity will be up to 90 per cent.

Temperatures on Friday and Saturday are expected to range between 19°C and 28°C, and 18°C and 26°C, with a chance of rain on Thursday and Saturday.

Rain will continue into Sunday with cloud and winds of up to 32kph.

The weather is expected to be partly sunny starting from Monday but temperatures will remain low.

Forecasters have warned residents to stay away out of the water, as waves are expected to be rough.

* Additional reporting by Nadeem Hanif