When should I travel to Abu Dhabi?
Although Abu Dhabi is a year-round destination, the extreme heat in the summer months - from June to September - can be tough for many travellers to deal with. The most pleasant period for visiting Abu Dhabi is between November and March, when the days are cooler and the heat is less intense.
In the summer, temperatures can hit higher than 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity is generally high. That said, many of Abu Dhabi's indoor attractions have air conditioning, so even if you choose to explore the emirate in the height of summer you'll still have plenty of things to keep you occupied and out of the heat.
During the winter months daytime temperatures are much more pleasant, typically staying above 20 degrees Celsius, but rarely peaking over 25 degrees Celsius. Whenever you choose to travel to Abu Dhabi, you can expect sunshine, with the city experiencing very little rainfall. Sandstorms can occur during the summer and it can be foggy in the winter, but for the most part it is clear and sunny.
The weather does vary a little between Abu Dhabi's cities, with Al Ain in the desert typically experiencing a little more rain than the capital. In coastal locations - like Saadiyat Island - you will often have a welcome breeze that can take the edge off the daytime heat.
Daytimes in Abu Dhabi
During the days you'll want to wear lightweight clothing, regardless of whether you've booked your holiday in Abu Dhabi in the summer or winter. Although there is no strict dress code here it is worth respecting local customs and wearing clothes that aren't overly revealing - tops that cover the shoulders and skirts or shorts that reach below the knees are advisable.
This is especially the case during the holy month of Ramadan, when locals and tourists alike are expected to be more conservative. Although it will be warm when you're out and about on the city's streets, it's worth taking a cardigan or lightweight jacket with you, as many restaurants, malls and other indoor attractions will have their air conditioning set to a much cooler temperature.
Evenings in Abu Dhabi
The temperature variation between the days and nights is quite significant in Abu Dhabi - particularly if you venture into the desert for an evening in a traditional camp. Overnight temperatures can drop as low as 10 degrees Celsius, so it's worth packing a jumper or warmer outer layer if you'll be out once the sun sets.
If you're intending to visit some of Abu Dhabi's luxurious restaurants, women should take a shawl or wrap along to keep them warm once the sun goes down, while men should find a light jacket is enough to prevent them from getting cold while they're enjoying their meal.
Religious holidays in Abu Dhabi
Many of Abu Dhabi's public holidays revolve around Islam and these can be some of the most vibrant times of year to visit the emirate. If you book your holiday in Abu Dhabi to coincide with one of the Eid celebrations - which occur twice a year - you'll see the locals mingling and large congregations of people around the many mosques.
Eid Al Fitr is the feast that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and it moves each year to coincide with the end of the fast. Between October and November Eid Al Adha takes place and is usually a four-day holiday that involves lots of feasting and socialising. It's worth bearing in mind that many places may be closed during these two public holidays.
The dates of Ramadan change annually and, as with the feasts, it's sensible to remember that the opening hours of businesses and other attractions may change during this month. Many restaurants and cafes, for instance, will remain closed during the day but stay open long into the night during this period, while other businesses often open later and most will close for a couple of hours each day around breakfast time.
Consider this when you're organising your holiday in Abu Dhabi and plan your activities and itinerary to allow for the unusual working hours during Ramadan. During the holy month you should also refrain from eating in public during daylight hours so as not to offend fasting Muslims. Most hotels in Abu Dhabi cater for foreign guests during this time and offer room service with meals being delivered to guests' rooms to be enjoyed privately out of the public eye.
Abu Dhabi Holidays Browse all
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Start off at Al Raha Beach with plenty of shopping options nearby followed by a stay at Tilal Liwa Desert Resort
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Discover two destination in one unforgettable holiday
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- The award winning Hilton Abu Dhabi is conveniently located in the heart of the city, 30 minutes from the airport and close to the marina shopping mall. The hotel has a private beach club so guests have the best of all worlds.
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Rotana Hotels and Resorts is celebrating the soft launch of the Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas in Abu Dhabi. The official opening will take place in September this year, but guests are being welcomed to the five-star property which has 340 guest rooms, suites and villas, plus seven dining venues, a kids' club, a fitness centre, spa, tennis courts and swimming pools.
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Rotana has announced the opening of the new Pearl Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel. Located in the Capital Business Centre business district in Abu Dhabi, the luxury hotel has 315 guest rooms and suites with views of the Arabian Gulf. Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool, spa treatment rooms, a Bodylines fitness and wellness club, ad five restaurants and bars serving international cuisine.