UAE’s warmth thaws cold impact of the weather - GulfToday

UAE’s warmth thaws cold impact of the weather

Winter in UAE

The UAE offers plenty of sunshine and a fairly tolerable winter with a stream of festivities across the country. WAM

It’s that time of year when most Western countries are literally buried in a blanket of snow, albeit aggravated by virus concerns. Unlike in this part of the world, it’s not just gentle snowfall coming from the skies; it is like a giant cyclone, pulverising normal activity entirely.

England and America are snow-bound.

Low temperatures froze Britain as a thick sheet of snow engulfed most of southeast England. The scene looks straight from a Hollywood movie set – or even a Christmas card for that matter.

Unfortunately, the snow hazard caused dozens of accidents in the US.

A whopper snowstorm buried parts of upstate New York under more than 3 feet of snow, broke records in cities and towns across the region, and left plough drivers struggling to clear the roads as snow piled up at more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) per hour.

The storm dropped 30 inches in one place, Glenville, leaving a silent scene of snow-clad trees, buried cars and laden roofs when the sun finally peeked through at noon.

In Boston’s Seaport neighbourhood, the streets were mostly empty except for an army of workers blowing sidewalks clear in front of luxury apartment buildings, stores and office towers.

Some residents feel chuffed about the unprecedented hail of snow. Xicheng Cai, 28, a consultant who lives and works in Seaport, was decked out in what he called his full polar gear including boots, windproof pants and ski goggles.

“Wonderful,” he said of the snow. “This is what Christmas should look like.”

A few blocks away, Sara Boxell, 33, who lives in South Boston, was in the middle of her 4-mile run.

“I love it,” she said. “Luckily, I’m working from home so I don’t have to drive anywhere.”

What was making things worse and creating hurdles in clearing snow-clogged highways and streets is because the coronavirus pandemic has knocked one in 10 plough drivers out of action.

Thankfully, we are spared the ‘frosty’ atmosphere of the West. The UAE has one major plus point in its favour, particularly in the winter months – plenty of sunshine and a fairly tolerable winter (mild by Western standards, one would conjecture).

It’s a season when people can flock to the beach, corniche or even shopping malls, the virus notwithstanding. The more adventurous can go trekking, try mountain climbing or simply camp in the mountains, facing the night chill (which again may be strong by Indian or Pakistani standards, but not the Occident) or just cycle their way through the special tracks that dot some residential areas in the emirates.

The rays of the sun extend an overarching welcome to tourists and residents alike, who make the most of the beautiful weather. With clear, cerulean skies, this is one period when the heat, which is there for a good part of the year, freezes in its tracks, leading to a potential thaw in the weather.

It is not that the woollens are discarded entirely. Yes, the cold is there, and some nights can get a tad chilly, but as said before, it is tolerable.

What makes enjoying the winter here all the more is that, contrary to common perception, it is just not all about desert.

The authorities pay attention to greening the environment. There is a lot of greenery – the mere fact that there are golf courses in several emirates makes it a visually verdant pleasure.

During the day, one can even have a dip in the sea – the water definitely is not icy; jogging or exercising in the park is a no-brainer; one can even try adventure sports, such as the much talked-about zipline in Ras Al Khaimah’s intimidating but beautiful Jebel Jais mountain; or even jet ski not far from the coast either in Dubai, Sharjah or even Abu Dhabi.

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