Autumn in Dubai
Ah… Autumn in Dubai.
If I could write a decent song, I would write something similar to one of my all time favourites, “April in Paris”. The imagery in the song instantly transports you and you can almost smell the blossoms.
It’s the same feeling when you are a Dubai resident and the autumn finally arrives.
The weather cools down, people start to go outside, flowers blossom and it’s as though the city comes to life. Ella Fitzgerald is so right – “I never knew my heart could sing!”
This is our second autumn, but as this was our first full summer it has only been this year that we’ve truly appreciated the change of season.
So, for those of you not familiar with Dubai outside of knowing that its “hot.. damn hot“, let me see if I can summarise the absolute joy of having survived the killer summer, to now be able to enjoy all this great city has to offer in Autumn in three simple points.
1. Aircon goes off
Firstly, summer here means months of living permanently in airconditioning. To go outside and escape means risking spontaneous combustion or melting. Getting in a car with leather seats can leave you with permanent burn scars on your legs. You can even cook eggs on the dashboard if you leave the car parked outside.
And so, there comes a point where your body just can’t handle the re-circulated, dry, tired air anymore.
Just when you are ready to give up and declare that you are moving to the UK just because you know you’re guaranteed to see rain, something clicks. All of a sudden you CAN actually bear the though of turning off the aircon to go to sleep.
For me, lovely hubby, who runs at a temperature a good 2-3degrees higher than most, was not impressed with this concept initially. I didn’t let this deter me though, and last week, we spent our first full night with no aircon.
Ah the joy, the freedom, the sinus relief! I didn’t need a duvet to sleep, I could remove my socks and best of all, I could get up in the morning to workout without needing a tracksuit.
2. Outside life begins
Dubai summer means no time outside. For kids, that means indoor playgrounds, malls and no time in any natural environment.
Temps that drop below 35deg means we’re back at the park!
Last weekend it was the Dubai Flea Market at Zabeel park followed by a play at the playground. This weekend it’s the Ripe Night Market at Al Barsha. Mornings and late afternoons mean strolling to the park with the bikes and scooters and enjoying just being outside touching grass.
All the events have started again as well. There’s the Desert Warrior Challenge, the Spartan Sharjah and the Colour Run Dubai all coming up in the next few weeks. And just about every weekend there’s some festival or other from the Truckers Jam at Dubai Golf Club to Handmade Dubai at Reform.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot. But the humidity has dropped and the sun has lost some of its sting which means you don’t feel like you’re going to die any second when outside.
And Dubai has some amazing parks! The grass is bindi free, there’s limited weird bug life and most playgrounds have shelter and nice soft floors for the kids.
Finally, the beach is back as well. In the height of summer the Gulf can feel like an overheated bath. But during Autumn it nears perfect temperature. You have to be quick though. Water temps drop off really quickly in November so there’s really only a few weeks to make the most of the sun, sand and surf!
3. Sweat levels sink
Each morning during summer, we would walk the 2 mins from our building to the car and then another 2 mins from the carpark to the office.
Every morning, Lovely Hubby would have a wet, see-through shirt by the time we got into the office. Such is the heat in this place!
So it was with tremendous excitement that we hopped in the car the other morning to head off and realised that there was not a drop of sweat on his shirt. The weather felt positively balmy. We looked at the temp gauge which registered a very reasonable 30deg and started to cheer.
This was one of those moments when you realise your perception of heat has changed forever.
When we lived in Australia, 30deg was a pretty hot maximum temperature day. Here we were sitting in our car cheering with excitement that it had gotten DOWN to 30deg at 7am!
Nonetheless, excitement is in the air – the much fresher air with less stinky BO from everybody walking around drenched in sweat!
So there you have it. You may be able to tell from my to my tone that we are feeling a little bit happy right now… actually, more than happy. We are positively quivering with excitement.
I think I even high-fived some random person I don’t know while I was skipping out the door from our overly air conditioned office last week. We just can’t wait to get out there and enjoy every second of the weekend and soaking up being outside as much as possible.
Bring on the winter I say!! See you at the park, or the beach, or the playground!
Big virtual high-fives to everyone out there!