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April? Into the Biodome!

April 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Pro League, The National, UAE


Summer appears to have come early in the UAE, but April can be hot. We know it. We can’t really complain about it. The average high temperature in April in Abu Dhabi is 91.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer than most humans prefer.

The summer which, for practical purposes we have entered, also is the time of sandstorms and dust storms, and we are in one now (see above, and below for more temperate weather the last few months).

How does a person handle this? By going into the biosphere and locking the door behind you.

Of course, we have no hermetically seal-able biosphere here, not like Biosphere 2 in Arizona.

But we do what we can to separate ourselves from the open air, which over these past four months has been mostly temperate. And four months is just long enough to make a person think he or she can frolic out of doors in the UAE without a second thought for searing heat or dangerous air.

Well, it’s here. And you protect yourself against it as best you can.

That begins by shutting all windows and turning on the air conditioning. We have done that for most of a week now, and that will be our way of life until November.

The rest of it is just staying inside, away from the wind, as much as possible, because the wind here, once it gains any sort of velocity, brings tons and tons of extremely fine sand/grit. Perhaps all the way from Iraq, where desertification is well under way. (And the prevailing wind, here in the UAE, is from the northwest — where Iraq is, in relation to the UAE.)

Anyone with a history of even mild respiratory distress does not want to be breathing the air here, this time of year. Not as it arrives from the Gulf, or (worse) from the dead sands of the Empty Quarter, which begins only a few miles south of Abu Dhabi.

Breathing the air introduces lots and lots of grit into your lungs. A bad idea for everyone, but a really bad idea for asthmatics.

(I feel particularly bad for the local soccer teams. All 14 Pro League teams play today or tomorrow, and to be running at speed for two hours with air this dirty … I wouldn’t hold it against the league if they postponed games in these sorts of conditions. As I write this, a game is about to begin, and the dust is so bad that it is blocking the sun, and the lights are on … and the whole scene, via TV, looks post-apocalyptic.)

The National writes several stories about this each year, such as this one, in which a local doctor talks about the rise in emergency cases, when sandstorms arrive. The worst is the really fine sand — and that is what we have coating the country right now.

As I have outlined before, everyone who can now begins to live inside sealed compartments. From your air-conditioned home, with its double-paned glass windows shut tight … to your car, where the AC is on at all times and the windows are rolled up … to the workplace, which you certainly hope is inside and behind closed doors.

Nature? We enjoyed you for those four months, here in the UAE. Now we prefer artificial habitats.



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