Confessions of a Saudi Diva: FAQ’s about being Saudi and Arab Culture (Part Ten)

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The weather in Saudi Arabia from a diva’s perspective

 

I’m writing this post at 1:42 am. There never seems to be enough hours in the day when you’re a creative professional. You’re constantly on the go, creating and sharing content on social media, networking, attending events, and if you’re a writer: blogging.

And when you’re not doing any of the above, then your mind is busy thinking of ideas for blog posts, or other things in general.


I’m not complaining, because doing something you’re passionate about and following your heart can’t be compared to anything else. So, despite the long working hours and the sleepless nights, I still prefer doing creative work and wouldn’t trade it for any other type of profession.


Due to the late night (more like early morning) post, I decided to keep the topic light and easy to read. Another reason is that I’m currently dosing off in front of the PC screen.


Many people who I meet wonder about the weather in Saudi and want to know what it’s like.

Since Saudi Arabia is a big country, the weather differs from one place to another. There are some parts that actually have hail storms on their mountain tops. While others, like my city enjoy a standard GCC weather forecast. This means that it’s mostly very hot in the summer and then icy cold in the winter.


Basically, we only witness two seasons: summer and winter.

In each season, the weather is so extreme that you just can’t wait for it to end!

For example, in the summer months, the display windows of the shops get covered in condensation caused by the extreme humidity! The same trend applies to your glasses. They will be covered in fog to the point that you won’t be able to see through the lenses unless you wipe them with a cloth.

Chocolate melts before you can get the pleasure of tasting it, eggs can be cooked in direct sunlight (without the need of an oven or stove!), and the water in non-controlled swimming pools gets too hot for a decent swim.


Another reason for this humidity is of course the proximity to the Gulf ocean. Wherever you have beaches, you must get some degree of humidity.


In contrast to the cruel and sticky summer months, we get very cold desert winters.

The winter in the Gulf region is unlike the one in Europe or other continents. Since it’s a desert, we get a harsh type of winter. One with a strong wind, dry cold weather, and very scarce rain.

The temperatures might not drop that low in the region, but you must always stay protected and wear suitable clothing. Because the cold winter breeze could enter your bones and leave you ill for the rest of the season!


I must admit, the winter in Dubai is much warmer than that of my city – Al Khobar. The Dubai winter serves as a respite from the severe summer heat and humidity. It’s a time when the weather in the city is at its best, and we all look forward to Al Fresco dining and finally being able to spend time outdoors..


In Saudi, the winter months are cooler. You do need to cover up (despite us women being covered in an Abayah anyway) properly. The winters in my city were cold enough, that a jacket becomes essential. Sweaters, cardigans or hoodies wouldn’t do the job. So, the need arises for a proper heavy winter jacket. But the challenging part for us women was wearing the jacket under our light fabric Abayahs! It was almost impossible to pull that look off and still manage to look cool while out in public! I think during the cold winter months, half of the population looked obese! as if we had all suddenly gained some winter weight or something. It was hilarious and annoying at the same time!


I honestly can’t remember how I ended up solving the Abayah and jacket dilemma. I probably just wore heavy sweaters underneath the Abayah or maybe got myself an Abayah with a heavy material. I will definitely update this post if I remember anything about this!


One thing that will never leave my memory is how we used to wear thick tights under our school uniforms as kids! This was back in the 1980’s (when I was in elementary school) and when the winters in my city used to get extremely cold! Who could imagine that in those days, the winter season demanded that we not only wear thick knitted tights to protect our legs from the desert winter, but that we would even warm up those tights on electric heaters that we had in our homes!


I still remember those days very clearly. We would wake up so early to go to school, and the maid (nanny/housekeeper) would place our thick white tights on the heater before we could wear them under our uniforms. That feeling of wearing warm tights was the epitome of bliss and pure comfort.

I’m not lying when I say that I used to wear those tights under my jeans and pants too! that’s how cold it was in those days! One pair of pants wasn’t enough to protect us from the cold breeze. We had to wear thermal underwear and tights at all times!

It’s so ironic when you think of how these days, we would be happy just to wear a winter jacket throughout the season. I still have my jackets and coats from my London days – decorating my clothes wardrobe. I would be ecstatic if I got to wear any jacket or coat for at least one day during any given Dubai winter! The problem is, that because I love the winter, I can’t seem to stop myself from buying winter clothes – even if they end up in the closet and never see the day of light. How sad…


Global warming is starting to visibly impact our region. Think of how this year, it’s already December and we still don’t have proper winter in Dubai. Today, I was wearing a short summer skirt and light T-shirt. When I think of the winter two years ago, I remember wearing a thick knit scarf when going out to celebrate NYE with some friends. I was also wearing boots and thick leggings. I doubt that I will need to resort to a similar outfit for this year’s New Year’s Eve party. Although my leather jackets could use some breathing.


Although I won’t be warming up any thick tights – or leggings – on an electric heater this Dubai winter, I know that I will be enjoying the cooler weather while writing from my balcony in the evenings.

Saudi Diva signing off XXX

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Saudi Diva talks Arab culture

3 Comments

  • Heba Sharaf says:

    Hi Nada , just to add i used to do the same me and my sister in Egypt . It was back in my college years and her High school years …We used to wear tight leggings under our jeans 🙂 ANd also had to warm them up on the electric heaters to make them warm .. lol How simple the 90s were !! And it was not uncool or anything to look a bit Obese during the winter season 🙂 Obviously everybody did the same !

  • Heba Sharaf says:

    Indeed ! we were and still are SUPER COOL 😉

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