Monday 20 July 2015

How to keep cool at home in Dubai?

Before we moved to Dubai we were informed that EVERYONE leaves Dubai for the summer.

Everyone? Seriously? Dubai doesn't shut down for summer, hubby doesn't have 3 months leave every year. We can't afford to rent someone in the UK for 3 months and maintain our villa that we rent in Dubai also. What about the cat and dog? Kennels would cost £3,600 for 3 months. So the other option is I leave Dubai for 3 months, seems a lot of expat spouses do that. But I'd still need somewhere to live and although staying with family and friends is good, I can't spend 3 months on sofas and living out of a suitcase in spare rooms.

I can understand why so many people leave though. Until I experienced the relentless heat I thought 'it can't be THAT bad' but it is, it's worse.

In the day it's an average of 42c, going as high as 50c early in June and not dropping below 33c at night. It's not cooler in the shade, the only place to get any respite is under the air conditioning. Humidity is high and the 'real feel' is up to 10c higher.

I'm still going out, I spend most days in the house on various projects, I tend to get up before sunset to water the garden, walk the dog, do the washing, cleaning etc and around midday I sleep for a couple of hours, before a second flurry of activity kicks in around 5pm, when I go to the beach, walk the dog, food shop and cook dinner.

I go out for coffee everyday, whether its a 5 minute walk over the road or a short trip on an air conditioned bus to an air conditioned mall.

When I'm indoors at home I do the following as it really makes a huge difference to the temperature inside the house.

Keep the curtains closed in the day time, it keeps the direct sunlight from damaging the wooden furniture and leather sofas and keeps the heat out of the room.
You can see how hot it is outside, this is condensation on the outside of the window
The drafts excludes are used to stop the cold escaping and the heat out, rather than the other way round
Keep containers of water outside, so they cool down during the day to be used to water the plants and wash the dog.
Water from the outside cold tap comes out the ground at 46c
Wear cotton and loose clothing, these are cheap and available to buy from the large supermarkets and the souks and perfect for wearing around the home
Keep doors closed during the day, if you're not using a room, If I'm at home alone I tend to only use the bedroom, dining room and kitchen during the day
Drink plenty of bottled water. I'm never more than a couple of feet from a bottle of water.
Make sure every window is covered. With floor to ceiling windows there's a lot of heat that can get into the house, these light weight panels are actually being sucked back towards the window by the heat from outside, imagine how hot the room would be without them
Hubby has been able to plan quite a few trips abroad with work, there are countries he needs to spend time in with his job, so it makes sense to be away during the hottest months. I spent 3 weeks in Canada in June/July which coincided with Ramadan. It's not just the heat that causes me a problem, but during Ramadan I am limited with my day light hour activities also, It is illegal for me to smoke, drink or eat in public during the day and most restaurants and cafes are closed during this period until Iftar when the fast is broken at sunset. It really limited my ability to cope with such high temperatures when I'm out, without being able to drink water.

Ramadan 2016 is earlier around 5th June till the 6th July, when it's not usually so hot and I will probably spend the month in the UK, although I'm yet to experience August in Dubai, so I'll wait till summer is over before I book any flights.

In the meantime I will just continue to live an indoors life at a slow pace, drink plenty of water, sleep during the hottest parts of the day, keep the cat and dog inside during daylight hours, read and hopefully try and make some headway with writing my book while I have the time.


  1. I can't imagine what it's like to cope with that kind of heat every day! I have a feeling that naps and reading would feature heavily in my daytime 'activities' if I lived anywhere hot. Sounds as though you've mastered some brilliant tricks for keeping cool since moving to Dubai. I hope that the rest of the summer isn't too unbearable for you x

    1. I've only got to get to the end of september then I'll have cracked

  2. And to think that in most places the issue is keeping the cold out and letting the heat stay in!!

    1. Ironic really, draft excluders to keep the cold in