Thinking of Dubai brings visions of sparkling high-rise skyscrapers glinting in the desert sun, the Burj Khalifa towering over pristine white beaches and azure waters, and soaring temperatures.
Is December a good time for a visit? Or will the heat make it uncomfortable?
December is the perfect month of the year to visit Dubai; like the US, they will also be experiencing their winter months but have no fear of the weather; unlike the summer heat, Dubai winters are temperate perfection.
And they have all the bells and whistles regarding places and things to do.
Not only is the weather in Dubai very comfortable, but the city really starts to come alive with much to do and see, and as it is not yet peak season, you won’t need to battle the crowds.
Let us look at why December is such a great time to visit Dubai, and I’ll provide you with a list of the top activities and attractions during the December period.
Visiting Dubai In December
December falls at the beginning of the best season in which to visit Dubai.
While indoor activities can be enjoyed all year round, with the weather being on the balmy and temperate side in December, outdoor activities are equally attractive at this time of year.
December is a pleasant time to visit Dubai as the city is not yet as crowded as it gets in January and February.
I will take a look at the pros of a visit to Dubai in December. Some pros are other people’s cons and visa versa. Travel likes and dislikes are all pretty subjective.
Still, regardless of this, I will provide you with enough information to help you decide if Dubai in December will be the best option for your travel preferences.
Pros Of Visiting Dubai In December
- Indoor attractions
- Outdoor attractions
- Accommodation and airfare prices
Dubai summers can be revoltingly hot and humid, with high temperatures (average of 100 F maximum and 79 F minimum) that continue until late at night. The heat and humidity can be overwhelmingly oppressive.
But not to worry, this furnace is not a year-round phenomenon, and Dubai over the winter months is very pleasant, which is why this is the time to visit.
The weather you can expect over December in Dubai is nearly as perfect as the weather can get. The average temperatures you can expect range from 60° F at night to a high of 78° F during the day.
While on the warmer side for those coming from cooler states, these temperatures are still quite comfortable and, with amazing beaches to enjoy, are perfect.
Top tips for packing for a visit include bathing suits, summer wear, sandals, and the odd jumper or jacket for the evenings, particularly if you opt for a desert safari.
Dubai is a Muslim country, so always dress respectfully in public places like malls by ensuring your clothing covers your shoulders and knees.
One may wear a bathing suit on the beaches, and many beachside hotels have beautiful private beaches equipped with beach chairs and umbrellas.
Dubai is considered one of the world’s shopping capitals. The city boasts many truly monstrous shopping malls where there is something for everyone.
Although December is just before the shopping festival that takes place during January and February, you will have the advantage of not having to deal with the discount-hungry crowds.
One of the benefits of indoor attractions like malls, galleries, and museums is that they are open year-round.
The benefit of visiting them in December is that the crowds have not yet arrived, so you can view what you want without rushing or the pushing and noise of many people.
Top indoor attractions to visit:
- Dubai Aquarium – Dubai Mall
- Ski Dubai – Mall of the Emirates
- Ibn Battuta Mall
- Dubai Museum
- Sheik Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
Many of the malls have their particular attractions. Dubai Mall has a truly magnificent aquarium and underwater zoo at the Dubai Mall where one can view a vast variety of both fresh and saltwater species.
The aquarium has an interactive area, and one can even pay to dive with the fish.
The Mall of the Emirates boasts an indoor ski slope at Ski Dubai, it’s a great afternoon out, and the kids can watch penguins and play in the snow while parents get in a ski session.
Ibn Battuta provides a shopping experience laid out in various travel-themed zones.
Both the Dubai Museum and the Sheik Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding provide fascinating looks at Dubai’s history and a great introduction to understanding Emirati culture.
The fantastic warm but balmy weather of December means that you can be assured of enjoying any number of outdoor activities. Dubai has wonderful beaches that offer clean white sand and clear blue water.
In December, the water is finally a nice cool but comfortable temperature, making it pleasant to swim in when you want to cool off on a beach day. With fewer crowds, you won’t need to worry about finding a good spot on the beach.
Here are some of the most enjoyable outdoor activities to do in Dubai:
- Various beaches, including Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, Public Beach
- Desert Safari
- Atlantis at Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis Water Park
- Miracle Gardens
- The Dubai Fountain
- The Spice Souk
- New Year’s Fireworks Displays
Jumeirah has several beaches, like Jumeirah main beach, Kite Beach, and Public Beach, which are open to the public; these have well-maintained facilities and a fantastic walkway that runs the length of the beach for the more active visitors.
Dubai also offers numerous water parks, which can be unpleasant when there are too many crowds and queues. December allows for fewer numbers, but you won’t feel like you’re on your own.
Making it a great time to enjoy these great outdoor centers. The Waterpark at Atlantis is a great option, and one can watch staff throw gelato balls into cones when waiting for ice creams.
Another great outdoor activity is the desert safari, and these are drives out into the desert with a bit of dune surfing for those so inclined.
December has the perfect weather for these activities, and the nights are not yet too cold to enjoy the accompanying traditional dinners under the stars; pack a jacket to ward off the evening chill.
The Dubai Miracle Gardens are best enjoyed in December when the temperature allows for outdoor picnics amongst magnificent floral creations.
The Miracle Gardens are an oasis of flowering beauty, with plants pristinely manicured into fantastic designs and shapes.
The Dubai Fountains are found at the base of the Burj Khalifa – you can enjoy a pleasant meal at any one of many very good restaurants while watching the fountains that perform in time to the music while sitting at the base of the Burj Khalifa; it is best to watch at night as the light show that accompanies the music and fountains makes for a memorable evening.
The Spice Souk, which can include a short trip across the Creek in an abra, a traditional water taxi, is a must-visit.
December’s mild temperatures allow strolls through the souk to fully experience the rich spices and their aromas and be ready to haggle with the vendors who enjoy a spirited negotiation.
One of the big draws of Dubai in December is the New Year’s celebrations. Dubai puts on a truly world-class show.
Come the evening of the 31st, and you can enjoy spectacular fireworks displays in any number of locations around the city. However, the show from the Burj Khalifa is usually the largest display.
Accommodation And Airfare Prices
We all know that prices suddenly go up during peak season worldwide. Airfares are more expensive as is accommodation.
Dubai is no different. Although December falls within the tourist season, it has not quite hit the peak period yet at this time.
January and February will usually see the largest number of tourists due to the shopping festival and much higher prices.
However, December does not have this problem and falls just outside peak season. Due to this, you will enjoy more reasonably priced airfares and accommodation, making the December period a good time to visit Dubai.
Cons To Visiting Dubai In December
There are admittedly few Cons to visiting Dubai in December, so we haven’t gone so far as to list them as they are few, are far between, and are very reliant on your visit’s purpose.
If you’re going to Dubai to shop for bargains, brave the crowds and opt for the January and February shopping festivals.
December does not provide the shopping festival’s bargains, although visitors should note that most of the bargains are on older stock.
Another possible con is if you enjoy the atmosphere a crowd provides – again, perhaps opt for a January visit, as December is a quieter period in Dubai.
December: A Good Time To Visit Dubai
December is easily one of the best times to visit Dubai. Occurring at the start of the tourist season, you will miss the major crowds while still enjoying a great holiday vibe.
As an added advantage, you won’t be paying the higher prices that become usual over peak season.
Temperate to warm weather during December in Dubai will ensure you enjoy the various outdoor activities, be it desert safaris, time on the beach, or splashing in world-class water parks.