Everything you need to know about visiting Abu Dhabi in January
Abu Dhabi enjoys wonderfully mild winter days in January. Usually crisp, and clear but rain and overcast days can be expected on occasion too.
It can be deceptively cooler than you think in the winter, the coldest point of the year in Abu Dhabi. A beachy holiday and water-based ideas such as Yas Waterworld may not be at their prime, but it’s perfect for outdoor exploration and getting beyond the city into the desert.
Most of the crowds from Christmas – New Year break have left by the second week of January and local kids are back at school so it tends to be a quiet time to visit, low season for hotels even though there’s pleasant weather.
Abu Dhabi weather in January
Abu Dhabi’s average day time maximum temperature in January is a mild 22.7°C (72.9°F), with highs as much as 31.3°C (88.3°F) and average lows overnight down to a slightly chilly 17.8°C (64°F).
In January, you should expect sea temperatures on average of 22.7°C (72.9°F). Maximum sea temperatures are expected of 25.1°C (75.3°F) through to a minimum of 20.4°C (70.6°F).
It’s certainly not the ideal time of year for the beach, but perfect for exploring outdoors without building up a sweat!
Make no mistake, no matter what time of year you visit Abu Dhabi you will still want a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses – you can find our full packing list tips for Abu Dhabi here.
Abu Dhabi special events in January
During January you can expect to enjoy:
- The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival – held on purpose-built festival showgrounds in Al Wathba, an annual event that runs from late November through to February.
Most public gatherings and events in Abu Dhabi are still on hold due to COVID-19 precautionary measures – we will shortly update this guide for January 2023.
Suggested Abu Dhabi activities in January
January is the perfect month for being outside, we recommend you look to some of the cities cultural attractions. Why not try:
- Qasr Al Hosn – found in the centre of Abu Dhabi island. Home to Abu Dhabi’s original landmark building the Al Hosn Fort, this is the perfect place to come and take a step back through history.
- A city boat tour – A fabulous way to see the city made up of hundreds of islands, there are several departure locations and types of boats, from thrilling speed boats to more sedate traditional dhows to get out on the water and enjoy the fresh winter air.
- Kayak around the Louvre – not just a place to appreciate the artworks and history of civilization, the Louvre Abu Dhabi also offers unique kayaking tours beneath the brilliant arched ceiling and waterways of the museum.
Day trips from Abu Dhabi in January
NB at the time of writing there are still restrictions on leaving the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. If you are crossing into any of the Northern Emirates, Dubai and beyond, find out what is currently required here.
January is a great time of year for visiting the Oasis City of Al Ain. Situated approximately 160km southeast of the city, Al Ain in Abu Dhabi Emirate is considered the historic centre. With the lush greenery of Al Ain Oasis (A UNESCO World Heritage site), there are several forts and museums to explore here, plus the UAE’s highest peak to scale (in your car!) Jebel Hafeet.
You’ll find a good guide here on everything you can expect in Al Ain.
- An organized tour can be a great way to get around the sites of Al Ain without needing to self drive
- Check out the new Jebel Hafit Desert Park for some stunning glamping and camping options, as well as the opportunity to explore the 5000-year-old beehive tombs.
- Experience an overnight desert safari in the Al Katim Desert, outside of the city where you can enjoy camel rides, sand sports, an Arabic buffet dinner and Bedouin hospitality – compare Abu Dhabi desert safari options here.
Abu Dhabi with kids in January
- A visit to see the new Jubail Mangrove Park on Al Jubail Island is a great way to get some fresh air and see the great outdoors, learn more about the UAE’s unique marine life.
- Visit Al Hudayriyat Island, the city’s latest leisure destination to open to the public which includes adrenaline activities from high ropes and a skating park through to the beautiful new waterfront dining venue Marsana with a public beach and splash park on hand.
- Enjoy the city’s largest park, Umm al Emarat Park on a family day out. Explore the botanical gardens and wadi’s through to splash park, enjoy a session at Bounce outdoors and a free cinema in the park on Thursday to Saturday evenings (10AED park entry fee applies).
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Find the latest Abu Dhabi COVID-19 Guidance here.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here: