Coping with UAE's Summer Heat: Tips for Residents

In the scorching summer heat of the UAE, Firas Hamdan, an expat, used to enjoy sleeping in until past 7am on work days before leaving the house at around 8.30am.

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Adapting to the Summer Heat: Altering Daily Routines in the UAE

However, with temperatures reaching a blistering 49 degrees Celsius in certain areas, Hamdan now finds himself waking up as early as 6am to beat the intense heat.

Rising with the Sun: Tips from Medical Professionals

According to doctors, modifying daily routines to minimize direct sunlight exposure, particularly during noontime, may indeed be crucial. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Abdelrazek Mohammed Deabes, an internal medicine specialist at Burjeel Farha Hospital in Al Ain, emphasizes the importance of staying indoors during peak heat hours and avoiding direct sun exposure. Additionally, maintaining proper hydration by consuming enough water to prevent electrolyte loss is essential. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothing is recommended, while tight shirts and pants should be avoided. Dr. Deabes also suggests refraining from activities directly under the sunlight, wearing sunscreen and sunglasses for protection, and allowing the body sufficient time to acclimate to the hot climate before engaging in strenuous activities.

Guarding Your Vision: Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun

Dr. Borja Salvador from Barraquer Eye Hospital in Dubai emphasizes the need for adequate eye protection. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light can lead to painful conditions such as photo-keratitis and/or photo-conjunctivitis. It is crucial to shield the eyes from the sun's harmful rays to avoid such complications.

Heat Exhaustion Awareness: Identifying and Treating Symptoms

During this period of intense heat, it is important for residents to be vigilant and recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion, including weakness, dizziness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, rapid pulse, and excessive thirst. Dr. Deabes states that it takes approximately 24-48 hours to recover from heat exhaustion. If symptoms are observed, immediate first aid measures should be taken, including moving the person to a cooler environment, placing them in the shade or a cool place while awaiting medical assistance, removing restrictive clothing that impedes cooling, having the person lie down with their legs elevated, misting the skin with cool water, ensuring adequate air circulation with fans, and providing refrigerated drinks.

Altering Routines: A Summer Lifestyle Shift

Firas Hamdan, now accustomed to the summer climate, has made significant changes to his daily routine. Instead of indulging in late-morning fitness sessions during the colder months, he now leaves for the office at 7 am and spends the early hours in the gym. This allows him to start his workday once it is cooler outside. Similarly, Sharjah resident Mohammed Fami modifies his routine during the summer season. Previously, he would spend his evenings outdoors with family and friends, but the sweltering summer evenings now prompt him to stay at home and sleep before 11 pm. Nonetheless, Fami still reserves these evenings for quality time with loved ones, occasionally taking his children to malls or entertainment centers for games and bowling.

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