Dubai is known for its scorching summers and abundant sunshine. As the temperatures rise, it becomes crucial to prioritise sun safety and adopt smart practises to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun. In this blog post, we will explore various ways to be sun smart during the summer in Dubai, ensuring that you can enjoy the season while keeping your skin and health protected.
Why is Sun Protection Important?
Before we delve into the specifics of sun safety in Dubai, let’s understand why sun protection is essential. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to various health issues, including sunburn, premature aging, eye damage, and an increased risk of skin cancer. With the intense summer heat in Dubai, the risk of sun-related complications becomes even more significant.
In Dubai, it is compulsory for outdoor workers to observe a Mid-day break during the summer. This yearly program, overseen by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, aims to safeguard employees from the severe heat of the summer season. The policy prohibits individuals from engaging in work activities in open areas between 12:30 pm and 3 pm, spanning from June 15 to September 15.
Understanding UV Rays and Their Effects
UV rays are divided into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While UVC rays are largely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, both UVA and UVB rays have the ability to penetrate our skin and result in harm. UVA rays contribute to premature aging, whereas UVB rays are the main culprits behind sunburn. Understanding the harmful effects of these rays is crucial for sun protection.
Sunscreen – Your Shield Against Harmful Rays
One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from the sun is by using sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher which also protects against UVA and UVB. Apply it generously to all exposed areas of your body, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours, particularly if you’re sweating or swimming.
Seeking Shade in Summer and Timing Outdoor Activities
In Dubai’s summer season, it is crucial to prioritise finding shade whenever you can, particularly during the hours of intense sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fortunately, Dubai offers conveniently located, air-conditioned bus stops that cater to everyone’s needs. To make the most of your outdoor plans, consider scheduling activities either in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun’s rays are gentler. By making this small change, you can significantly decrease your exposure to the sun.
Protective Clothing – Dressing Smartly
The right clothing can provide an additional layer of defense against the sun. Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting clothes that cover your arms and legs. A wide-brimmed hat can protect your face and neck, while sunglasses with UV protection safeguard your eyes from harmful rays.
Hydration – The Key to Beating the Heat
Staying hydrated is essential in Dubai’s hot climate. Remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking an ample amount of water during the day, even if you don’t sense any thirst. Always have a reusable water bottle with you to ensure access to water wherever you go. Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they can lead to dehydration in your body.
The Importance of Eye Protection
The sun’s rays can cause damage to your eyes, leading to conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection. Look for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays to ensure maximum eye safety.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQ 1: Can I still get sunburnt on a cloudy day in Dubai?
Yes, you can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day in Dubai. While clouds can filter out some of the sun’s rays, UV radiation can still penetrate and cause damage to your skin. It’s essential to practice sun protection measures even when the sky is overcast.
FAQ 2: Are there any natural remedies for soothing sunburn?
While prevention is always better than cure, there are a few natural remedies that can provide relief for sunburnt skin. Aloe vera gel, cold compresses, and moisturisers containing ingredients like cucumber or chamomile can help soothe sunburnt skin.
FAQ 3: Can I use any type of sunscreen for my children?
When it comes to sunscreen for children, it’s crucial to choose products specifically formulated for their sensitive skin. Look for sunscreens labeled as child-friendly or pediatrician-recommended, ensuring they offer broad-spectrum protection and have a high SPF.
FAQ 4: Is it necessary to wear sunscreen indoors?
While it’s true that windows can block most UVB rays, UVA rays can still penetrate glass and contribute to premature aging and skin damage. If you spend a significant amount of time near windows or in well-lit indoor spaces, applying sunscreen is still beneficial.
FAQ 5: Can I rely solely on sunscreen for sun protection?
Sunscreen is an essential part of sun protection, but it should not be the only measure you rely on. Combine sunscreen with other practices like seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and staying hydrated for comprehensive sun safety.
Being sun smart during the summer in Dubai is crucial to safeguard your skin and overall health. By understanding the effects of UV rays, using sunscreen, seeking shade, dressing smartly, staying hydrated, and protecting your eyes, you can enjoy the summer season while minimising the risk of sun-related complications. Remember to prioritise sun safety for yourself and your loved ones. Stay protected, stay sun smart!