Dubai: A City in the Clouds

dubai city in the clouds February 2016

Visitors to the fantastic desert city of Dubai usually know what awaits them, regardless of the time of year.  The city may seem like a futuristic utopia of pristine, ambitious buildings, magnificent man-made water features, and ceaselessly azure skies, but it’s still a city in the desert.  This means that regardless of the season, visitors to Dubai face immense heat.  However, the lucky few that find themselves awake at the right hour during the right time of year, might just witness the mystical fog that envelops this metropolitan oasis from time to time.

The Cloudscrapers of Dubai

Like many magnificent wonders of nature, the elusive fog of Dubai is dependent upon a unique set of circumstances.  The time of year counts for a lot since, as we know, fog is caused by a change in air temperature.  The subtle shift in air temperature as the prevailing heat of the summer gives way to winter’s milder temperatures is enough to create fog.

However, this fog only occurs in a brief window of the cooler morning air.  As the emptiness of the desert nights sends temperatures plummeting, the early morning air can be quite frigid.  But, as the intensity of the sunrise begins warming the air, Dubai’s mythical fog begins to form.

The fog sits quite high in the sky, but the city of Dubai dwarfs it.  Playing home to the tallest building in the world, and a few other contenders, some of the city’s skyscrapers pierce the wispy tops of the fog, making the city look as if it is suspended in the clouds.

That being said, many of the city’s buildings simply aren’t tall enough to clear the fog.  Finding yourself in one of these buildings would just encase you in a silent, vivid white case.  So, if you want the best vantage point, you need to make your way above the 70th floor of one of the city’s tallest buildings.

How to Experience the Incredible Dubai Fog

It’s usually too thick to photograph by 7am, and has been burned away by 9am.  So, if you want to capture this incredible phenomenon on film, you need to set your alarm for the middle of the night.

Also, the change between cold and heat that causes the fog will also cause your camera lens to fog up.  So, if you’re going to be outside, leave your camera outside overnight – or vice versa.  Taking your camera from the cool air-conditioning into the balmy heat of the morning will spell doom for it.

If everything goes according to plan, and the weather cooperates, you might just be able to capture on of the world’s most majestic phenomena on film.

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