According to the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), the UAE is experiencing the coldest January on record. As a result, this has led to the gradual sea temperature drop. The sea temperature in Dubai right now is 20-22 °C and in Fujairah around 22-24 °C.
Basically, it’s cold – for us warm water divers! Planning your dive will ensure you feel comfortable in and out of the water. Diving is not much fun when you’re cold and you must end the dive if shivering.
Layering it on…
It would be advisable for those that are sensitive to the cold to wear extra protection. You can ask the dive centre beforehand about renting a 3mm or 5mm long wetsuit. Alternatively, invest in a wetsuit that properly fits you. For extra protection, layer up by wearing a rash guard and leggings underneath the wetsuit.
Remember to do a weight check before beginning a dive as the extra layering will make you more buoyant and you’ll probably need extra weight.
Read this article for further advice on wetsuits.
Head to Toe Warmth
Keep your head warm during the dive by wearing a hood. In between dives you can invest in a cosy beanie. Both of these items aren’t too costly and you can purchase them at any dive shop in the UAE.
Wear thick booties for your feet or invest in dive socks (there is such a thing!). If you’re new to diving and don’t have fins, check with the dive centre to see if you can rent fins with booties.
Keep your hands warm, buy gloves that fit!
Eat a good breakfast!
Eggs, salmon, nuts, bananas, rice and water are all great energy-packed foods to eat pre-dive. Your body burns more calories (up to 600 an hour!) to stay warm. Plan your meals before a dive to feel more alert in the cold water.
Hot chocolate anyone? Get a thermal flask and fill it up with a hot beverage to bring on the boat. You’ll be so thankful to have a warm drink in your hand after the dive. Alternatively, fill the flask with warm water (make sure it’s not steaming hot!) and pour it down your wetsuit. Bring a towel or poncho towel with you, take your wetsuit off, dry yourself off and keep out of the wind.
When you roll back into the sea, you’ll always feel that initial shock of cold as your body starts to adjust. As long as you’re prepared and follow the dive plan, there is plenty of beautiful marine life to explore during the winter months.
Tell us how you keep warm during the winter months? Start the conversation and remember to add the hashtag #ChloeBlueDivers