Thursday June 16, 2022

Summer is an opportunity to do many things

Summer is an opportunity to do many things

Best time for outdoor activities once the sun starts to set.

Every year the summer comes around in the UAE and every year we’re all taken aback by it. It’s almost as if as soon as the winter leaves we’ve forgotten how hot the summers here can get. But if you’ve lived in the UAE for as long as I have, and I do know that many have lived here for longer than me, it’s not a surprise at all and the discomfort you feel does not lessen the longer you live here. Not everyone gets used to the temperature and humidity.

To be honest, the biggest shocker comes to those who recently moved here, especially if they do so during the winter months. It was the same for me and the new people I met used to keep asking me, “how do you like the weather here?” because it was winter time  and the temperatures had dropped significantly.  It’s glorious with the added chance of rain showers that make the outside look very atmospheric. But that’s all over for another year. Temperatures have started to climb and it may stay that way for the next several months.

With the heat outside and all of us now retreating indoors, everyone tries to find ways of staying active and entertained without having to venture out into the heat. Because I’m an early riser, the first thing I noticed is that if you love the outdoors, early mornings are best. Each morning I step out onto the balcony at around 6am and, in the summer, the temperatures are definitely lower than the rest of the day. I’m not saying it’s cool but certainly more tolerable than as the day progresses. It seems to start to rise around 7.30-8.00am so before then are the optimum times for yoga, jogging and outdoor meditation.

But if you still prefer to stay indoors during the next few months, there are plenty of ways to occupy yourself both at home and at other indoor venues.

For example, if you’re craving the cold and fancy yourself as a bit of a skier, The Mall of the Emirates’ Ski Dubai is the place to be. You don’t have to be a skier to enjoy the snow; just enjoy the change in temperature. There are indoor roller coasters, mini indoor golf courses and squash and tennis courts, and, of course, indoor swimming pools dotted around the Emirates. There are also countless venues hosting events coupled with summer deals, from hotel stays to deals on day spas. There are also many classes you could attend, such as cooking, language and arts and crafts.

But if you’re not in the mood to spend loads of money there are quite a few ways you can keep yourself occupied for a fraction of the cost.

Summer provides an opportunity for you to do the things you put on the backburner over the winter and autumn months.  Online is a wonderful tool for those who wish to stay indoors during the heat but still do something.

You could zoom into online classes. You could learn a new language, Arabic for example, online or log into a cooking class or even learn something for free on YouTube. Did you know, for example, that the Harvard University website offers numerous online courses for free? Okay these courses are usually management or business related but those skills and knowledge still come in handy whether or not you’re working.

There might be self-help books you’ve been meaning to read or a novel you’d like to read but didn’t have time. More than two decades ago, back in the UK there was one novel that I read and reread over and over again. It wasn’t just because I was an Alistair McLean fan but his novel ‘Ice Station Zebra’ was gripping and I now think that it would be a perfect summer read. It is based in the coldest region of the planet and the descriptions of the cold surroundings are so vivid you can actually feel the freezing temperatures and the snow particles piercing your skin. If you want to be sent into a freezing cold environment where you literally feel cold chills then ‘Ice Station Zebra’ is a must read.

You can also take up a new hobby, or revive a hobby you used to love but gave up because you had no time. Summer in the UAE is a time when the pace slows down a bit so it’s the ideal opportunity to take your time doing something you love. Knitting and crocheting is not only therapeutic but you also end up with colourful and creative knitwear. You could start painting with your kids. They sell some wonderful painting-by-numbers kits and even those who cannot draw a straight line can create something pretty to hang on their walls.


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