Thursday, May 08, 2008


It was 43 degrees here in Dubai a couple of days ago. Today, however, it is merely 40. The humidity is down too. I am promised that in July/August the temperature reaches 48 degrees and relative humidity gets to 100%. One can only survive in air-con.

The local paper, Gulf News, is full of reports about people contracting asthma and flu-like respiratory complains caused by dust in the air. People are generically recommended to wash their hands, but proximate activities are left unmentioned.

As I walk to work around 7 a.m., it’s already hotter than the warmest UK summer day. I have to say that 40+ degrees takes you to an alien place. A colleague compared it to opening a hot oven and the feeling as your face is bathed in heat. The walls of the buildings do that to you.

Another pointer. At midday, when I walk to the local supermarket for lunch, the shadow of traffic-sign poles on the pavement is just a few inches around their base: the sun is nearly vertical (it will be vertical at the summer solstice).

We had a few minutes of light rain the day before yesterday. It made the papers.