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The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is from November to February when it is cool to cold and one can really make the best of the outdoors with leisurely strolls within and around the island. The temperature during this period usually ranges from 9 to 25 degrees centigrade. Warm clothes such as a jacket or shawl are useful as it is quite breezy. Overcoats, jackets, boots and pullovers are common sights during this period. The malls are full of autumn-winter collections.
Winter sales are held December but not all stores and no fixed times. However this is a good time to visit. The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is for one month in January/February and most shops in Abu Dhabi offer discounts during the same period (and sometimes beyond). Some people recommend that you visit the stores in the first week of the sales so as to get bargains in the right sizes. However, towards the end of the sale, the remaining goods are reduced further (50% to 70% off the original price is usual) and it is possible to get some great bargains.
October, March and April are the best months for beaches when it is not too hot to be outside. From November to April also sees Abu Dhabi roadsides and parks with colorful flowers.
Peak summer starts from late May with July-Aug being the hottest months with temperatures in the range of 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit (up to about 50C). Humidity is usually very high through to September and it can be the most unpleasant time to be outside. The evenings are slightly cooler but the breeze is still hot with just a slight dip from the day temperature. The heat can surprise you when you step outside from an air conditioned hotel or mall. Unless you are keen on sunbathing and shopping in air-conditioned malls, (there are usually sales in July) the best time to visit Abu Dhabi would be during the cooler months. Besides, a Dune Dinner and Desert Safari tour (which is usually in the itinerary of most visitors) is much more pleasant when it is not too hot.
Abu Dhabi is a modern city where designer fashion labels are commonplace in the shops, but the occasions where they are worn needs to be appropriate. Loose lightweight clothing is ideal, particularly during summer. Short, revealing or tight clothing is considered disrespectful. Tight or revealing tops and short skirts or dresses are not advised, especially as a pedestrian, in taxis and if walking about at night. This is likely to attract unwanted attention. At big hotels you can be dressed as you please but do keep in mind that traditionally the local people are covered and many of the non-local residents are also strict Muslims. So It is best to cover your shoulders and wear skirts/pants/trousers at least to the knees.
On the beach, a normal bathing suit or bikini is fine, but avoid 'thong' bikini bottoms or topless sunbathing as this is considered indecent.