The dos and don’ts of a Dubai summer

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– Bother straightening your hair. Within an hour you’ll look like a lion with a proudly fizzy mane (“That scene from the Lion King, where Simba shakes his head as he gets out of the pool, singing hakuna matata,” says my friend B. “That’s me and POOF!

– Leave your sunglasses in the car. The rim of your Ray-Bans will burn your face.

– Wear jeans. Peeling them off will feel like shedding your own skin.

– Be surprised if you find yourself in a shopping mall… again.

– Visit friends who don’t use their air conditioning.

 – Feel guilty for staying indoors all day.

– Think taxi drivers are rude for rolling their window up really fast to stop the hot air coming in.

– Forget to wear flip-flops until the moment you get in the pool, or you’ll find yourself hopping around like a jackrabbit on steroids.


– Brace yourself for third-degree burns when touching the car steering wheel after leaving your vehicle in the sun.
*Ouch* … “Oven glove!! Where are you?”

– Get used to buildings sweating as humidity condensation drips down the windows.

– Wipe your phone screen on your T-shirt before sending a text.

– Save yourself the bother of ironing your clothes. The heat and humidity will make you wet and crinkled anyway.

– Apply sunscreen before you even open the curtains.

– Towel off the wet patches that appear on the back of your knees.

– Vow to get up an hour earlier to enjoy the cool of the morning. And then oversleep.

– Take care walking in the mist (when your sunglasses steam up after getting out the car).

– Skip blow-drying your hair. Winding the window of your car down is like turning on a hairdryer and directing it at your face.

– Turn off the hot-water tank. The sun-warmed water from the cold tap is hot enough for showers.

– Wonder why the odd person out running or cycling during the day hasn’t died.

– Open your car window when you get in – breathing in the fumes in an enclosed space filled with super-heated dashboard plastics is like doing glue from hot vinyl bottles.

– Look out for ‘staycation’ hotel deals that are so good they’re practically carrying you inside.


June in 12 phrases

With the summer holidays hurtling towards us like a steam train, here are 12 things on every mum’s lips this month as we sweat our way around Dubai running errands and making sure our little ones don’t expire in the heat:

“Are you all set for summer? What date are you leaving? Wow, France, Italy AND Austria!”

– [to DH] “I know I keep withdrawing money, but none of it’s for me. I’m dishing it out in envelopes for teachers’ gifts / support staff appreciation funds / class parties / library fines.”

Meanwhile, in the car...
Meanwhile, in the car…

– “Ouch, the steering wheel just burnt me.”

– “Put your shoes on! The ground’s too HOT to go barefoot, and I can’t carry you.” [Think: scalding hot coals]

– “Ahh, the swimming pool water’s cool. They’ve turned the chiller on at last.”

– “When is Ramadan, again?” [Go moon! FYI: Expected to start this year on 29 Jun.]

– “You will be back in September, won’t you?”

– “No, we’re not going to America today, tomorrow, or the next day. We’re going in three weeks’ time. 1 – 2 – 3– WEEKS.”

– “Lucky kids! Outdoor playtime is cancelled, and school’s taking them to the local softplay instead.” [Cue: another money-filled envelope.] “And more party food?

– “Could you show me where the fake tan is please? Everyone at home expects me to look sun tanned.”

– “Try the hot tap. The water should be colder.”

– “Mwah! Good-bye! Safe travels.”