The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque shrowded in mist and humidity

Humidity in Abu Dhabi – Why is it SO HOT?!!

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner

Feeling more than a little sweaty today in Abu Dhabi? We’re guessing you’ve stumbled upon our page as suddenly the summer weather has taken a turn; Abu Dhabi does hot pretty well – actually, it excels at it – but why is it suddenly so steamy and clothing sticking to you?

Welcome to Abu Dhabi’s late summer humidity.

So if you’ve suddenly got the glasses fog and it feels like you’ve just stepped out of a sauna, let us explain this phenomenon of Abu Dhabi weather that no one really prepares you for!!

Average Humidity in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s average humidity is around 60%. For the most part, it is a more manageable humidity year-round than, for example, Singapore or any of the tropical countries of Southeast Asia that lie closer to the equator.

The winter months in Abu Dhabi are actually slightly more humid than the summer, but it’s those searing hot days of late summer where heat & humidity combine that are most noticeable and difficult to deal with, particularly if you’re a tourist and new to town – July is just a little introduction to hot!

Average Temperature and Humidity in Abu Dhabi

You can learn more about the exact weather, including sea temperatures, rainfall, and humidity, to expect each month in Abu Dhabi here:

Although the numbers don’t seem to say it out loud when you look at Abu Dhabi forecasts, as residents, we can assure you by far the most uncomfortable time of the year for temperatures & humidity is August & September.

Relief seems to come by mid-October, when you’ll find a significant drop in daytime highs and humidity. The “sweet spot” for visiting Abu Dhabi weather-wise, where air and sea temperatures are perfect for an outdoor vacation, is mid-October to mid-December.

Humidity in Abu Dhabi Explained

Humidity is a measure of how much water vapour is in the air around us. The more moisture in the air, the higher the humidity. This is usually given as a relative humidity number – how much moisture is in the air as a % of the maximum amount of water vapour the air can hold.

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How much moisture the air can hold depends on air temperature, hence a percentage is given rather than an absolute number. When humidity hits 80%+, it becomes extremely uncomfortable.

Abu Dhabi is mistakenly thought of as a “dry heat” because it’s in the desert, but the Arabian Gulf waters are the more prevalent force.

The coastal areas of the United Arab Emirates, which includes the city of Abu Dhabi, are more susceptible to humidity than inland areas such as Al Ain, or the mountainous regions of the Northern Emirates. This is because humidity comes from water evaporating from large bodies of water – in Abu Dhabi’s case, the waters from the Arabian Gulf which completely surround the city.

As air temperatures heat up, so does the sea causing more moisture to evaporate into the atmosphere.

In the cooler months, the higher humidity is what leads to fog which can be particularly prevalent in the early mornings.

fog and humifity over the Abu Dhbai high rise skyline
Foggy starts to the day are caused by humidity, more common in the winter in Abu Dhabi

It’s important to note not every day in August and September has high humidity. In fact, many pleasant low humidity days are thrown in, giving us a false sense of security that the worst of the summer heat is over – be warned, it’s not!!

At it’s worst, overnight humidity in late August and early September can reach close to 100%.

Why does the humidity in Abu Dhabi make us feel so sweaty?

Sweatiness comes down to how our bodies can deal with humidity. When humidity is relatively low, but the temperature is high, we get hot and sweat it out. The moisture evaporates into the air, and our own sweat cools us down.

With high humidity, however, the sweat we create has nowhere to escape; evaporation is much slower, so it continues to ‘cling’ to us, making us feel much stickier and possibly overheated.

How can you cope with the high relative humidity in Abu Dhabi?

The key is to stay hydrated. If possible, avoid going outdoors and only exercise outdoors in high humidity if you understand the dangers involved.

Evenings can be less humid than the early mornings, so you may want to plan exercise accordingly on the worst days.

In winter, your body won’t be nearly so badly impacted by the humidity.

What is humidity in Abu Dhabi now?

You can check out the top of our sidebar (on desktop) or on mobile, scroll to the bottom of this page to see the current weather in Abu Dhabi. Our weather chart includes the humidity %, and the “feels like” temperature, which considers the wind chill factor and humidity.

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So no, you are not imagining it at all! September can feel hotter than the peak of summer in Abu Dhabi!

Although the temperatures in Abu Dhabi might look pretty consistent from one day to the next, you need to look at the relative humidity and “feels like temperature” before heading outdoors too.

Be sensible, limit your time outdoors when it’s hot & humid and stay hydrated. And look forward to October!


Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi

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