The best time to visit Dubai is from October through April, due to the cooler temperatures compared to during the summer months. You’ll find plenty of festivals to attend, beautiful beaches to escape to at that time of year, and hotel deals during this peak travel time.
No matter when you decide to go, use this guide to help plan your trip to Dubai to experience the commanding skyscrapers, superlative shopping malls, and unique cultural experiences.
Weather in Dubai
While many people have the time to travel during the summer months, Dubai can be a challenge for those who aren’t used to extreme temperatures. In the summer months from the last week of April to early October, the weather can be unbearably hot. Temperatures can range on average from 100 degrees F to 106 degrees F during this time.
Fall is a prime time to visit Dubai between September through November, as temperatures become more bearable with highs in the low 80s to high 90s.
Popular Events and Festivals
Dubai is home to many festivals and events throughout the year. Emirati culture is firm on bringing people together, especially families, during religious holidays such as Ramadan and EID. There are also plenty of festivals for tourists to enjoy throughout the year.
During the winter, there are a great deal of festivals and events such as Dubai’s National Day and other holidays to enjoy. It’s prime travel time to Dubai from locals in other GCC regions and from further abroad. Therefore, it’s best to get a head start on booking accommodations early. There are hundreds of hotel options in Dubai, but it’s best to book months in advance to get the best deals. See a detailed list of events from month to month below.
Tourist Attractions in Dubai
Most popular tourist attractions are available year-round in Dubai such as the souks (outdoor shopping markets), the Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Mall. Depending on the time of year, certain attractions aren’t ideal, such as a desert safari, where you go dune bashing, or even Dinner in the Sky. The extreme summer temps from June through August make it impossible to enjoy certain outdoor activities. Dinner in the Sky, for example, is not available during the summer months because no one wants to sit close to the sun when it’s 100 degrees F outside.
Also, take into consideration holy months and holidays such as Ramadan. Many things that you would be able to do throughout the year will not be available during the day, such as eating in public at most restaurants since locals fast during the day. Certain upscale places will make an exception for tourists, such as Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, located in Atlantis the Palm, which opts to have black-out curtains so outsiders can’t see guests eating during the day for Ramadan.
January is the tail-end of peak season to travel in Dubai due to the mild temperatures, and it is also the cheapest time to visit Dubai. Tourists can enjoy sunny days and bright blue skies during high season.
Events to check out:
- January is ideal for shoppers, as the Dubai Shopping Festival involves most shops and malls in the city.
- The charitable event, Dubai Marathon, also runs in January, where participants pay a small fee to partake.
Still high season in Dubai, February brings with it fairly cooler evenings and a bit of rain. It’s an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities such as desert safaris and relaxing by the beach.
Events to check out:
- The Dubai International Jazz Festival is an annual event that is held at Dubai Media City. It has featured jazz and pop icons such as Mariah Carey, John Legend, and Toto.
- In late February the Dubai Food Festival hosts a massive celebration of gastronomic delights from around the world. With offers like dining deals during Dubai restaurant week, masterclasses, and the culinary event Hidden Gems throughout the city, foodies will be in their element.
In March, temperatures begin to climb higher, but it is still reasonable enough to enjoy the many activities and events that Dubai offers. The average temperature in March is around 83 degrees F with moderate amounts of rain and wind.
Events to check out:
- One of the most prominent art shows is hosted in March, the annual Art Dubai festival. Art lovers from near and far flock to the city to enjoy innovative artwork from local talents, as well as displays at contemporary art galleries around the city.
- Tourists can enjoy a bit of the luxurious life at the Dubai World Cup. It is held at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse and features the world's best horses, trainers, and jockeys.
On the other end of peak season in Dubai is in April, when crowds start to lessen out but hotel prices are still relatively high. The days start to get longer with average sunlight of 10 hours and temperatures in the low 90s.
Events to check out:
- Held at the Dubai World Trade Center, The Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) plays host to one of the biggest pop culture festivals in the world. It features music, celebrities, and art exhibitions from all over the globe to celebrate film and gaming entertainment.
- In late April is the Children’s International Film Festival, which promotes young people in the filmmaking industry. Award-winning filmmakers have screened their films at the event.
May is the start of shoulder-season, just before the extreme summer heat rolls in but still a pretty warm time to visit Dubai. It is possible to find more hotel bargains during this time. It’s a great time to enjoy the beaches, which are less crowded than during high-season.
Event to check out: The annual Al Gaffal Dhow Race occurs in early May. The race involves nearly 100 traditional wooden boats and draws nearly 3,000 participants who sail the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf.
June is typically marked by Ramadan and warm summer temps in Dubai. Tourists will be immersed in Muslim culture during Ramadan when locals fast during the day and break fast at sunset. Be prepared for afternoon closures at shops and not being able to eat or drink in public, unless a restaurant has blocked off views to the public.
Event to check out: The Ramadan Night Market takes place in late June for 10 days. It features a range of brands in some 300 outlets with deals and sales galore.
The month of July brings about more hot temperatures and steamy, sunny days. The average temperature in July is around 105 degrees F and with about 11 hours of daylight.
Event to check out: Dubai Summer Surprises is a month-long celebration where the city offers reduced hotel rates, discounts on shopping, and fun family-friendly activities for locals and tourists alike to enjoy during the hot summer months.
Extreme heat persists and the humidity calls for hot, sticky experiences outside. August is the hottest month of the year, bringing about temps well into the 110 to 115 degree F range on average.
Event to check out: An indoor movie event is a welcomed reprieve to the hot temps in Dubai in August. Check out the South Indian International Movie Awards, which features the biggest names in South Indian entertainment.
September is the start of the fall season when temperatures in Dubai begin their descent to pleasant levels for doing outdoor activities. Fall brings about less humidity, but still long sunny days.
Event to check out: GITEX Week is a technology event usually held closer to the end of September. It features ground-breaking events displaying the latest in tech by startups and pioneering companies.
As one of the more pleasant times to enjoy outdoor activities in Dubai, October has temperatures averaging in the mid-90s during the day and lows in the 70s in the evenings.
Event to check out: October is the start of the camel racing season in Dubai. It draws crowds of Emiratis and tourists alike, usually being held on Friday and Saturday mornings at Al Marmoom Camel Race Track.
Cooler temperatures in the 80s and minimal to no rainfall awaits visitors to Dubai in the month of November.
Event to check out: Located in the Dubai Design District (D3), is the annual Dubai Design Week. It hosts local creatives to showcase designer exhibitions and installations.
December is one of the most popular months to visit Dubai with stunning winter temperatures in the 70s. It’s the holiday season for locals and visitors from around the globe.
Events to check out:
- UAEs National Day is celebrated in December. Enjoy an array of activities to mark Dubai’s independence like fireworks displays, concerts, and gatherings throughout the city.
- Sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the annual Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament brings crowds from around the globe to root for their favorite rugby teams.