Dubai in December

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Dubai in December and at Christmas is warm to hot, temperatures are quite pleasant and it doesn’t get cold. Dubai is in the Northern Hemisphere so December is winter in Dubai. It’s winter or Christmas vacation time for many of us in Europe, America and parts of Asia. The 2-3 week Christmas school holidays are starting, so is December a good time to visit Dubai for a vacation? Yes, December in Dubai can be very pleasant, with the start of December being warmer than the end of December and into the new year.

Dubai in December beach
Let’s find out about Dubai in December and around Christmas and New Year.

December in Dubai

December brings some of the lowest year-round temperatures to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is cool in December, or not quite as hot! Depending on how used to heat you are. December is not the coldest month in Dubai, the coldest month is usually January. Let’s look at what to expect in Dubai in December, weather, humidity, and activities in Dubai in December. Most attractions in Dubai will be open in December, if you’re not looking for scorching hot beach days and sunbathing, December in Dubai could be perfect for you.

Dubai Climate

Dubai in December desert
Dubai in December in a hot desert climate.

Dubai has a hot desert climate and does experience the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, (fall) and winter. Winter conditions in Dubai last from about the end of October to early April, so December falls in the middle of winter in Dubai.

Northern Hemisphere “official” winter stretches from 22nd December 2022 to 23rd March 2023. The winter solstice falling on Dec 21st, the shortest day of the year. This is the astronomical winter, not the meteorological winter.

The urban heat effect raises temperatures a little in Dubai city and other cities in The United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Area.

The Tropic of Cancer (the northernmost extreme of the tropical zone) passes through The United Arab Emirates, within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, making Dubai just outside the tropical zone and inside the temperate zone. Dubai is not in the tropics.

Dubai Temperatures in December

Christmas in Dubai
December, and Christmas, in Dubai!

Dubai experiences some of its coolest temperatures in December, daytime and nighttime temperatures are fairly moderate for The Middle East at this time. This is a very good time to enjoy outdoor activities in Dubai, you may even need a light fleece or sweater after sundown, as temperatures can fall to a very pleasant 14C at night.

Average December maximum temperatures in December can be up to 28C (82F) In the hottest months, July, August, and September, temperatures in Dubai can hit 50C (122F), so December is much more pleasant temperature-wise.

Humidity rises through December, so by the end of December temperatures may actually feel hotter. Relative humidity is a moderate 56%. Dry heat is much easier to cope with than humid heat.

December is one of the wetter months in Dubai, but the chance of rain remains low.

February is usually the most humid month in Dubai (65%), May is the least humid (53%). July humidity is about 58%, rising towards August. The higher the humidity, the hotter it will feel.

April and May are likely the best months to visit Dubai for low humidity. The best time to visit Dubai is normally considered to be November to February, but I’d stretch that out to Easter, personally.

Dubai’s air quality is also variable. Check Dubai’s National Air Quality Monitor here.

Dubai in December Dust and Sand Storms

You are fairly unlikely to encounter a dust or sand storm in Dubai in December. Dust storms, winds carrying dust and sand, do affect Dubai. It’s not too unpleasant to experience one of these in Dubai so long as you can stay indoors, we’ve been in Dubai during one, but dust and sand will accumulate everywhere and driving may be affected. We’ve experienced one on a cruise ship in Dubai. Sand storms are most common in Dubai in summer or turbulent weather during the transition of seasons. You can check for dust storm forecasts in the UAE here on the official UAE forecast website.

Things To Do in Dubai in December

Dubai attractions open December
The fountain show at the base of the Burj Khalifa (outside Dubai Mall) are a must-see during your time in Dubai.

In December in Dubai you can take advantage of Dubai’s indoor and outdoor activities, giving you plenty of choice! Dubai is famous for its malls, water parks, theme parks and beaches, plus camel safaris, desert camps and cultural activities. Most of Dubai’s attractions should be comfortable for you in December and at Christmas. December is a good time to visit Dubai’s souks, maybe get some Christmas shopping done!

Dubai desert safaris december
Desert safaris in Dubai are my kids’ absolute favourite thing to do. They can include 4 wheel drive adventures, camels, dune surfing, dining and entertainment at desert camps outside Dubai. Sand dunes are a lot of fun for kids, and they should all get to see a desert biome!

The Dubai Desert Safaris and Camel Safaris should be operating, with sunset temperatures dropping to cool as darkness falls. These events are mostly held around sunset and the desert camps, dancing and dining are after dark. You may need a light sweater if you feel the cold. You book a desert safari to include the activities you prefer, for instance dune bashing, camel rides, quad bikes, sand surfing, and round the evening off with dining and a show (belly dancing plus more). Check out these tours here, and book in advance, these are so good! These tours will generally pick you up from your hotel in Dubai.

Here’s a list of more things to do in Dubai in December.

Ski in Dubai

Ski Dubai is located in The Mall of The Emirates and is open year round. It’s not just air-conditioned, this indoor ski resort is held at a cool -1 to 2 C, around freezing point. You’ll need warm clothes to meet the resident penguins or take a ski or snowboard lesson. This could be fun in Dubai in December. Ski Dubai was the first such ski facility in the Middle East. You can reserve timed ski session tickets here for kids or adults.

Visit the Museum of The Future

This brand-new attraction is the hot ticket in Dubai right now. This is one you simply can’t miss. Book your time slot here. (likely to sell out, so do book.) Or just click through on our link to see this incredible construction.

We haven’t visited this new museum ourselves as yet, we can’t wait to see it!

Go Up The Burj Khalifa

The observation tower inside the Burj Khalifa is another hot ticket in Dubai. If you have no fear of heights, this is a great thing to do. The Burj Khalifa is adjacent to Dubai Mall and many great restaurants which will have outdoor seating in December. It has a view of the incredible dancing fountain show. To watch the fountains in December, you should be comfortable outdoors! Book a time slot here.

Enjoy Dubai’s Aquaria

Dubai aquarium public view Dubai Mall
The Dubai aquarium. This is the public view of the huge tank from inside the Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is at Dubai Mall and is a great thing to do in Dubai at any time od year. A trip to an aquarium could be a great Christmas treat for your kids. This Aquarium has one of the biggest tanks in the world (over 10 million litres) and offers backstage tours plus opportunities to dive in the tanks, it’s home to many species from around the world, including crocodiles and penguins. You can see some of this main tank from The Mall without paying for admission. But we recommend you do go inside! Book here.

Aquaventure Dubai has what was the UAE’s biggest Aquarium at Atlantis (Abu Dhabi now has a huge one). We strongly recommend you consider staying at Atlantis, The Palm, to experience this. Alternatively, you can book a 1 day pass, and enjoy the winter temperatures. It’s not always sunny in Dubai in December, so if it’s overcast, windy or even raining, you may be a little chilly at Dubai’s water parks or at the beach.

Visit Dubai’s Green Planet Biodome

The Green Planet Biome in Dubai is an indoor rainforest. Temperatures are warm, between 24C and 28C, but that may still be cooler than outside in December! Book tickets here.

Visit a Dubai Theme Park in December

Most of Dubai’s theme parks will be too hot for average people outside in summer, but December should make them just fine to visit. Dubai also has an indoor or partially indoor theme park or two up its sleeve, with air-conditioned rides and areas.

The biggest and best indoor theme park in Dubai is arguably IMG Worlds of Adventure. It’s actually billed as the biggest indoor theme park in the world at approx 1.5 million square feet. IMG Worlds of Adventure features the characters and themes of Marvel Comics and the Cartoon Network, adding appeal to kids young and old, plus teens and adults.

It has four zones (Cartoon Network, Marvel Universe, IMG Boulevard and Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure) feature thrilling, scary, and gentle rides suitable for toddlers.

This amusement park is temperature-controlled and open all year, so yes, you can visit IMG Worlds of Adventure in December.

It is located at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, near Arabian Ranches, adjacent to Global Village, a huge shopping, leisure and entertainment attraction Global Village is open in December (it’s open from October to April), so unfortunately you can’t visit in summer. Check their website for schedules and events in December.

Legoland Dubai, at Dubai Parks and Resorts, is also partially indoors. Legoland Dubai comprises a theme park and water park. This Legoland’s Miniland (recreations of local and international buildings, in Lego) is indoors and air conditioned. It’s the only indoor Miniland at any of the world’s Legolands. Legoland is only open to 6 or 7pm so you can’t visiting in the late evening as you can for some other Dubai parks. Legoland is open year round with some seasonal fluctuations in times.

Bollywood Dubai, an Indian movie, or Bollywood themed park is also at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Most rides are indoors but the park itself is outdoors. you can visit quite late into the evening (10 or 11pm).

Motiongate Dubai is also nearby and is open all year with seasonal fluctuations. It is a Hollywood-inspired theme park. The zones are inspired by Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and Lionsgate and offer rides for kids and families. Motiongate Dubai should be open in December and most of the rides are indoors. The Dreamworks park within a park is entirely indoors and airconditioned.

In summary, the parks at Dubai Parks and Attractions are:

  • Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai, Legoland Water Park Dubai, Riverland Dubai, Motiongate Dubai

If you’re looking for a hotel at the Dubai Parks and Attractions, Lapita Resort is a moderately priced Dubai hotel, with a Polynesian theme near Dubai’s theme parks at the Dubai Parks and Resorts area. Theme park access can be included in your room price, making it an affordable option. This hotel has a kids’ concierge, kids club, teens club, and afternoon teas plus pool and lagoon. Family rooms and Royal suites make it family-friendly if you’re planning a family holiday in Dubai.

Old Dubai

Dubai Creek Old Dubai
Dubai Creek and Old Dubai is a lovely area to explore

If you’d like to step back in time from the mega malls, discover Dubai as it was in the area called “Old Dubai” near the banks of The Creek.

You can take cultural tours here, visit the gold souk by crossing The Creek on a traditional boat (abra), see how houses were constructed in days gone by and visit a mosque.

We highly recommend you book a cultural tour of ld Dubai here (with food) and explore further yourself, on foot and by boat. Book that tour here. There is great shopping for souvenirs here. It shouldn’t be too hot to be outdoors in Dubai in December!

Dubai’s Garden Attractions

Dubai Garden Glow and Dubai Miracle are exotic garden attractions in Dubai. Dubai Garden Glow will likely be closed from mid July 2022, we have been unable to determine if it will be open for December.

Dubai Garden Glow also features a dinosaur park. Dubai Miracle Garden is only open in winter so should be open this December. Check for Garden Glow opening here.

Kidzania Dubai

Kidzania Dubai is located on level 2 of the giant Dubai Mall and will likely keep your kids busy all day in air-conditioned luxury.

Kidzania parks are replica cities, built for kids. There are other kids’ attractions within the Dubai Mall too, including giant slides and amusements.

The Mall is a very good place to spend a December day with your kids! Book all of the other Mall attractions and make a day of it.

Enjoy Art at The Mall

At the Dubai Mall again, on level 2, you will find some spectacular art exhibits.

Go to the Dubai Opera

The Dubai Opera House is at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Downtown Dubai and is a popular spot for architectural tours as well as performances. The building is spectacular and a destination in its own right.

Go to Ferrari World

Ferrari World is in Abu Dhabi. See our post on getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi attractions.

Take in a show, La Perle by Dragon

Dubai’s #1 show is at Al Habtoor City, Dubai. Find out more and book tickets, which can be combined with other attractions, here.

Indoor Play at Oli Oli

Oli Oli is “An Experiential Indoor Play Museum” in Dubai, for kids. All ages are welcome. Learn more about Oli Oli here

Try Dubai’s Escape Rooms

Dubai has several escape rooms for adults and children and all of them could be a good choice for a hot summer day.Try Brain Game Dubai, NoWayOut Escape Rooms Dubai and Escape the Room Dubai..

Go Indoor Trampolining

Indoor trampolining is another indoor activity for a hot day in Dubai.

Indoor Climbing in Dubai

Indoor climbing is another good indoor activity for Dubai in July. You’ll find indoor climbing for adults or kids at Adventure Zone, The Wall Climbing Gym, and Sky Trail / Climbing Wall, plus more!

Go Ice Skating

Where will you find ice skating in Dubai? Dubai Mall of course.

Swimming and Beaches in Dubai in December

Dubai public and private beaches
Dubai has public beaches, plus many hotels have private beaches. This is Atlantis at the palm, which has its own huge water park and aquarium. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records! Stay here!

As daytime temperatures hover around 28C, and nighttime temps drop to 14C, the sea in Dubai will be cooler in December. Around 27C or 80F. That’s similar to the temperature of a heated indoor pool in the UK.

The sand may be hot, take shoes to walk to the water’s edge, and of course, good sun protection.

December is probably a good time for a family holiday in Dubai if you’re hoping for days at the beach. A lot depends on the individual and how temperature sensitive they are.

Where to Stay in Dubai in December

If I were looking for a hotel in Dubai in December I would consider Atlantis, The Palm, home to some of the most spectacular attractions in Dubai. You can book an underwater suite or the Regal Family Suites which will accommodate even very large families in style. You can find interconnecting suites with adorable kid-friendly features. Atlantis has all sorts of aquatic attractions such as a full aquarium inside the hotel with water slides that take you right through the tanks, as well as a water park, multiple pools, private beach area and boating. This hotel advertises a Kids’ Club and an outdoor kids’ playground along with indoor play facilities and games. Cots, babysitting and extra kids’ beds are available on request. As these facilities are on-hand, you can choose to utilise them at the best times of day to suit the December weather. Atlantis has some 15 diverse restaurants, many are the work of internationally renowned chefs.

My other best suggestion, if you wish to visit Dubai’s indoor theme parks, would be Lapita Resort

Alternatively, stay near The Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Aquarium.

For a budget stay in Dubai take a look at the apartments at Golden Sands Hotel Apartments . self catering and self laundry are possible at these resorts. Shopping for food will be OK as I know there is a small supermarket and fast food outlets nearby.

Dubai in December, Sport and Exercise

If you like to keep fit, Dubai’s cooler months will be better for you. You won’t be restricted to exercising at dawn and dusk as you would be in summer. After years of living in the tropics as we have, we can tell you 100% that most activity must be around dawn and dusk in the summer months. The Dubai Marathon (the largest mass participation sporting event in the Middle East) in 2023 is Sunday 12th of February – in winter, and it starts at 6.30am. The good news is, Dubai’s gyms are air-conditioned and climate controlled, making them useable year-round.

Dubai also has an Ironman 70.3 (a half Ironman) dates are to be announced.

December in Dubai, What’s On?

Dubai has special events year-round, but what happens in December? Of course Christmas and New Year’s Eve fall in December, there will be festive events in Dubai in December.

Is Dubai Cheaper in December?

Dubai is expensive in December, as is just about everywhere with the coincidence of school holidays and Christmas.cheaper. If you’re looking for the cheaper months in Dubai investigate the months outside of school holidays, June and the second week of September onwards to the start of the Christmas break.

What to Wear in Dubai in December?

This is personal choice of course, but long sleeves and long pants or a skirt would be my choice in Dubai at any time of year. Some places in Dubai do have a dress code. No skimpy clothing is allowed in Dubai Mall, for instance. So dress for the climate and for cultural politeness.

December in Dubai, Wrap Up

Dubai is a great destination for a holiday, vacation, or as a stopover as you travel from Europe deeper into Asia or even to Australia. It’s a fabulous place to see and we highly recommend it. December is actually a really good time to visit Dubai, although Dubai may be busy, and traffic congestion could be bad. People travel for many reasons and a lot of tourists and visitors do arrive in Dubai in high numbers in December. You can enjoy Dubai in December, marvel at her architecture and enjoy cultural attractions, and outdoor activities. Enjoy Dubai! Looking for more Dubai information? Visit our Dubai travel archive page.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

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